Prep

So much shit has been dropped on my plans but flights have already been bought so there is definitely no turning back!

With trips like this, I’m wondering if I’m even prepared. I’m prepping (minus the resupply boxes) like I did on the PCT so relatively easy. I just have to wonder if I even have enough money and if this is even sustainable.
I’ll be alone again. Which is fine but I’m longing to experience all this with someone. It’s beautiful whether you’re alone or with a group but I want someone who I’m intimate with to experience this with me.
Is that too much to ask for?

Prep

I have SO much to do. Thankfully, I have just under 6 months to do them. Better to get ahead of prep than be stressed out from procrastinating too long (a lesson I’ve learned one too many times).

Should anyone be curious what goes on in my head in the initial stages of prep, feel free to peruse my Saina’s Camino de Santiago 2017 Prep List

This is just what’s in my head right now. I end up adding so much more to this as I continue with the steps so you’ll see this list grow and grow.

I have to give the PCT prep its due though. I would be MUCH more stressed out for this walk had I never done anything even remotely similar to this before. But, honestly, I’m pretty calm (I say that now). The only thing that’d stop me is some unforeseen accident or pregnancy so I’m locking up my vagina and throwing away the key, at least until May (Which it basically is already. lol. The romance department has never been my strong suit anyhow). Gotta have laser sharp focus on this goal.

Happy Holidays y’all!!

Hiking…

I love hiking but since getting injured on the PCT in 2015 and only getting 648 miles in, I’ve lost a lot of my lust for the actual hiking part.

I’ve been going to therapy too and it’s like my entire life has been unraveling before my eyes. Everything I thought I knew and was sure of has shifted and new perspectives and feelings have taken over. It’s an extremely painful yet enlightening time for me.

Many of my self-sabotaging ways came from toxic shame. Defined roughly as: ” When shame becomes toxic, it can ruin our lives. Everyone experiences shame at one time another. It’s an emotion with physical symptoms like any other that come and go, but when it’s severe, it can be extremely painful. … Unlike ordinary shame, “internalized shame” hangs around and alters our self-image” (https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-toxic-shame/). Realizing a lot of fucked up shit has happened to me (and not because of me) when I was young, has helped me to stop drinking so much (I no longer crave it as I did) and has helped to appease the suicidal urges.

I’ve always prided myself in being so independent but I’m realizing that being this obsessively solo/independent chick is actually just as bad as being a needy woman. There is no balance and I’m finding myself so lonely. I’m trying to open up to others and let myself be helped by others.

While I used to LOVE hiking solo, I’ve been mostly wanting to hike with others but with all the recent medical issues (surgery, forced temporary early menopause, etc), my fitness level is so bad that I feel like I’ve been slowing people down – especially on uphill – and holding them back from enjoying themselves. Will just have to find super slow people to hike with for now. I’ve been forcing myself at least once a week to hike SOME PLACE, doesn’t matter what. I just haven’t been doing it 4-5 nights (almost 30 miles) weekly like I was for my PCT prep years back.

My foot is still also swelling after 5-6 miles on day hikes. Will have to figure that out and go on a crazy fitness regime starting New Year so I can be ready for Camino de Santiago which I’m thinking I’ll start late April next year. Research for it has already begun. Super stoked! With my tax return, will just book a non-refundable flight and, that way, I’m forced to go. Hahaha. No excuses!

Trail Work

I POSTED THIS ON MY FORTHEWANDERERS SITE FIRST. So kind of a duplicate. If you’ve read that, no need to read this. Just feel this is more suitable for this blog than that one.

 

I think it’s the second week of van life, anyway. hahaha. Time is just freakin’ flyin’ !

Offered to help out with trail maintenance both Saturday and Sunday on the PCT. That was hard work but definitely rewarding. Think I might do it more, simply for the workout – you hike in and then work out your arms, back and legs the rest of the day. A Facebook friend of mine – who’s planning on going Northbound (NoBo) on the trail in about a month – said she wanted to come when I posted about it.

She came later Saturday, we all then went to Casa de Luna – trail angels’ home (a trail angel is someone who assists hikers coming through on the trail – whether it be with car rides, food, a place to sleep, etc). We all ate and drank some beers/ciders and then slept there.

Next day, needed to leave early so was going to go with my FB friend back since she needed to go too. Her Subaru – which had already been having some issues – ended up breaking down on the crazy rugged dirt trail leading to the trail. Thankfully, one of the other workers had a tow line and was able to haul her car back to the main road with his truck. I went with her and her friend to make sure they could get somewhere with cell service, to get tow truck, etc. Ended up driving them to Azusa later.

Although absolutely not having been expecting or looking for this, I really ended up liking one of the guys I met that day. Not my usual type whatsoever but super sweet. But, of course, he’ll be doing the PCT soon so not date-able anyway. Oh wellz.

That seems random but this is actually a HUGE thing for me. About 2 years back, I had – well, let’s just call it a “violent sexual encounter”. I bled for days after. When it happened, I was in so much denial about it since someone I knew – or thought I knew – was responsible. Seems cliche but that very much happened. My friend in Australia, who I told first, was angrier than I was. It wasn’t until I was mid savasana during a yoga class, months later, that the memories came flooding in full force. It was almost as if I was experiencing it all over again. I could almost smell the room, see my blanket, feel everything. I had to leave class and sobbed in my car for a full 1/2 hour.

It was just before I had my IUD inserted so not sure if my significant weight gain (talking 50lbs or more) was due to that or the experience. What I DO know is that, after that, I had absolutely NO desire to be sexually active ever again. My weight gain  – while depressing me at times – was a blanket of security to ensure nobody would see me desirable. It felt GOOD to not be the one club promoters ran after in the street, begging for me to go in their douchey clubs. I didn’t feel threatened walking alone in sketchy areas anymore. While lonely, I was also comforted by the invisibility I now seemed to have.

I attempted a couple times with one or two people since then to get over it but my body just wasn’t feeling it. Sooooo, long story short, to feel something in the southern region or to WANT any physical closeness with anyone in and of itself is a big step for me. I think I’m finally healing.

I can’t believe I wrote that but I think I needed to. Tears are just streaming down my face right now but it feels good to say this to kind of a faceless audience. Thanks for listening. ❤️

 



Me actually working for a second 😉 👆🏻

Getting towed out


Everyone working except me. I’m documenting 😉

I hate hats (hi horrible hat hair!), long sleeves, long pants  but ’twas worth it for the trail that gave me so much.

Depression

Someone very close to me today said that I’d never showed any signs therefore I can’t be as depressed as I claim to be.

That was a shocker for me. I’m at the point I’m ready to let go.

Which makes me wonder: what if I DID tell someone I needed help? Do I have to disclose that I’ll kill myself ? Doesn’t that seem extreme? 

I mean, what if someone told you that. You’d take it seriously, if it were a loved one. If it was someone that’s claimed it many times before, you’d say it was the boy/girl who cried wolf.

Yet every time I’ve asked for help, I’ve gotten 9 rejections out of the 10 requests. 

I’m never going to tell anyone I’ll “kill myself”. Never. When I ask for help, I’m already straining my personal integrity. Id prefer not to do it if I can help myself already. Why should I make it extreme to get your attention?

So pick up that phone, answer those texts and be just a good fuckin person to the people you care – even a little bit – about. Don’t take them for granted. The squeaky wheel may get the grease but there might be a bigger problem at hand and it may be such a silent one you’ll never know until it’s too late. 

Happy Thanksgiving?

It’s around this time, I feel more depressed than usual.

I have no family here. They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. My friends are all with their families, proud to show their love. I’m happy for them. I really am but also realize I’m really all alone.

It’s hard. But I also realized today, while taking a small hike around a waterfall that I couldn’t get a great shot of from the non iced areas, that I’m not trying hard enough.

I take it so personally and feel so abandoned  when someone doesn’t respond to my call, my texts or whatnot but when it comes down to a simple situation like getting a great shot with my iPhone, I don’t always get in the water – no matter how freezing it is.

Maybe I have to let go of the people that don’t make any effort to know me or keep a friendship with me and stop taking it so personally. And, just maybe, I have to start trying harder. In retrospect, I should’ve taken my shoes and socks off, rolled up my pants – or taken them off entirely – and gotten the perfect shot of the waterfall I saw today to get that one perfect shot. No matter how fuckin’ cold that water was – and, trust me, there were icicles right near it so it was COOOOLD!

What’s weird is that I was in Finland and have been ice-hole dipping. That’s where they drill a hole in the ice of a lake and people go swimming/dipping in it. So, I KNOW what cold feels like. Getting in the ice holes was exhilarating. I did it several times. Why didn’t I just do it this one time today?

I think I’ve been cruising. It’s easy to do but I expect so much more of myself. Why am I beating myself up when I’m not even trying hard enough to warrant the emotional abuse I reap upon myself?

On a similar note, the holidays ARE where people struggling with depression feel the most alone and isolated. So, reach out to the ones you love. Pick up that phone when someone calls, call your loved ones, etc. That’s what the holidays are for!!! ❤

Oh, and no question about it at this point, Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

 

A note 

They say your greatest messages will come from your greatest hurt. Who said that? I have no clue. It was probably made up for a meme and I liked it but, nevertheless, that’s why I barf out my hard times.

It’s not because I’m a crybaby. I don’t need your sympathy. But even if one person learns from what I did and it excuses them from my pain, I’m down.

Life is an adventure. You make mistakes. You fuck up. People hurt you.. Sometimes you hurt others. Hopefully, less of the latter.  Whatever. It happens to all of us.

But we’re ALIVE! If there’s anything I’ve learned from working with the elderly, it’s that there’s no room for regret and procrastination. I hate – like hate hate- the acronym YOLO but do what you want responsibly and don’t hold back.

You’re strong. You’re beautiful. You can do it!