One of the scariest feelings for me is giving up. As long as I don’t start with a project I don’t have to admit defeat. But when I commit to it, every contribution makes me vulnerable to failure. It seems easier not to start in the first place, doing research and finding reason why not to do it.
Recently I decided to leave my job, take a sabbatical and walk the PCT. 2650 miles to find myself and become a better person. Ever since I made this commitment I’ve been doing preparations and there is a list of things that scare me senseless.
- Letting go of my life
- Letting go of my friends
- Letting go of my job
- Letting go of my comfort
- Letting go of my security
The people I talk to are extremely supportive and I’m grateful for that. But it makes me wonder if they, or even I, understand the impact of this decision on my life. I try to be excited when talking about the PCT, and to be honest I am, but I also have so much fear in me. What happens if someone needs me while I’m out of cell coverage? You can always count on me but I’m going to be off the grid for a few months — so sorry about that.
Granted this is probably the most extreme case scenario but there are others. Going on this trip I have to give up my apartment, let go of my life in San Francisco. I’ll have to leave my job behind with no guarantee of coming back afterwards. I’ll have to leave the security of a steady paycheck as well as the comfort of having people around that I can confide in.
But before all of that even happens, I have to make decisions of what I’m going to bring on this journey. Questions over questions like is this tent going to hold up? Is my pack light enough so I can carry it for about 20 miles a day, every day? Should I bring a solar charger or will I be able to get to enough towns to charge all my gadgets?
And now to the existential question: How is my life going to look like after I walked 2650 miles? How is this journey going to change me and who will I be afterwards?
One of the most interesting things that nobody seems to talk about are the fears we have to overcome. It’s easier to just celebrate the wins. Success is a game of luck or preparation. Listening to this amazing salesperson that closed a big deal is easier than listening to the story of how many times that same salesperson got rejected. We are a society of success stories and what one man can do another one can. But that’s not necessarily true.
Do you have the grit it takes to go through all of the downs before reaching that high?
I want to be that person! And while I am scared to the bone, I won’t give up. Not this time, not anymore. Doing this will cost me my life, the way it is now. It will cost me my job, the time I could spend with my friends, the comfort of my home and the security I have. But I’m intrigued and trust that it’ll also give me something greater. This journey will change me in ways I can’t even understand yet and that’s what my life is going to be all about.
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