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Pickleodeon
11-14-2009, 17:54
In response to SBhikes' post, I've been thinking about how the trail has changed me as well. However, I feel the opposite.

When I was prepping for the trail, I was working a lot, and reading and researching about the trail. I had a steady income and a really huge goal. It was great, I was going to a gym to "train" and then I left in March. Hiked the trail, flash forward, and I thought and talked to my hiking partners about my future plans for post-trail life.

Now that I'm home, I'm in that mid-twenties life stage where all of my friends are getting married and buying houses. An exicting time, but here I am, not-so-subtly hinting at my boyfriend about these things because he's the only aspect of my life where I feel comfortable and happy. So we talk about the future and finances and a house eventually and a wedding, eventually. So, long story short, we talk about Money, money, money. On top of that, I have none, and I owe my parents money from a few trail expenses while I was gone. Plus, I'm living with my parents, ugh, after the freedom of college and then the trail, and can't afford to live on my own.

Also, I'm working, sort of, as a substitute teacher. It's an ok job, when they call me to do it. Last week, 0/5 days, it's not like I need a paycheck or anything!!! So, after living the great life on the trail, now I'm back in the "real world" and have a million more headaches and things to worry about than before I left.

I've been sitting around during the day, feeling horribly depressed and unmotivated. The days are getting shorter and colder so I cant be outside as much. My body is still somewhat hurting from the trail which keeps me from wanting to go out and be active. I feel like a big failure after this huge life accomplishment. I can't motivate myself to do anything now and I don't know what I want to do with my life.

Nicksaari
11-14-2009, 18:07
getting ready to get off trail ALWAYS depresses me, but then again, im extremely Bipolar. this is what i call the vacation depression: a mood affecting low caused by realization of going back to the real world grind.

does this affect anyone else, or am i just all alone on this?

Pedaling Fool
11-14-2009, 18:08
...My body is still somewhat hurting from the trail which keeps me from wanting to go out and be active. I feel like a big failure after this huge life accomplishment. I can't motivate myself to do anything now and I don't know what I want to do with my life.
The body is like a kid that needs to be disciplined. Don't put off being active because of a little pain, you can allow the pain to moderate intensity, but never just sit around and wait for it to go away.

99% of the time I can't means I won't.

As far as life's goal/ambitions, just don't give up it'll come to you. I'm having a little problem in that area also, so probably not in a position to advise.

bronco
11-14-2009, 18:12
You are going thru hiker depression , it happens to all of us. keep busy as possible and if you do not work try to get out and hike. all I do is think about being out, but most of the people I know are finished so I would be out there alone. keep the faith. it gets better with time. do not discount your experience, it is a great accomplishment that very few can say they have done!!! keep in touch I am always up for a week day hike. I am planning a few trips for next year if you want to come Long Trail in August for 1 maybe a hike around trail days also. keep the faith it will get better and you will be just fine do not worry. BRONCO

Nicksaari
11-14-2009, 18:41
you might have a case of seasonal depression, which i believe most ppl suffer from.

and, in all honesty, who cares what all your friends in PA are doing with their lives- 23 is waaaaaaaaaaaaay too young to get married. its not 1948. live your life, chase what makes you happy, focus on working and paying off your debt first- its only a matter of a couple of years of semi hard work to pay off debt. and with your time off while working off debt, hike, camp, surf, chase what you love doing most.
and again, to reiterate the non-marrige thing: keep in touch with your married friends with kids and a home, you will find that most of them arent happy, or divorced and they've got kids in the middle, and their lives are unhappy as well. you will find solace in their unhappiness at the fact that *thank the lord* you didnt marry at 23.
if he makes you happy and there is a reciprocated love between the both of you, ride it out. it is completely possible to have an enduring, loving relationship with him and not be married to one another. it could turn out in some years he is not the one, or it could strengthen what you have even furthur and leaves the future wide open to your determination and the ways of the wind (god, or whatever).

wow, im rambling here once again.

i dont know if you have an education, but now is a better time than ever to work your arse off and get some type of degree or certification. that would be a good goal a few years down the road to work towards. if you are educated, join the peace corps, take a paid internship teaching english to children in central america, do something sparadic that will better yourself, and yet piss everyone off stuck in PA bc they're stuck there for life.

or, if you like to hike, get out of debt and keep hiking. go out west. be humbled in another country. live the rest of your life as an adventure, laughing at people who are married, unhappy, & fat with some desk job making who cares how much money a year.

but whatever you do, DONT go to some happy & content third world country and spread (force) christianity. cause thats not cool and you DONT want to be that person.

ive been at a crossroads for a long time now, and though i've never thru hiked (to which i am horribly jealous) and i am not female, i understand what you might be feeling. getting married young is indeed a novelty, it seems nowadays. i am from Va Beach, and beleive me, everyone is doing it there too- it is a ubiquity not native to just the east coast, its everywhere. dont become influenced by your friends lives and the cultural norms of your neck of the woods in PA. live above it.

to each his/her own hike, right?

i dont know if this has helped, or your thinking what a biased douche i am, but i can talk this stuff all day.

Nicksaari
11-14-2009, 18:49
speaking of John Gault...who is John Gault?
now is a better time than ever to read some type of life changing piece of literature like:
Atlas Shrugged
The Fountainhead
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
A Sand County Almanac
anything by Muir
anything by Thoreau

Pedaling Fool
11-14-2009, 19:00
Be careful, Ayn Rand was no liberal, she's about as conservative as you get. Which I get a chuckle out of because all the freaky libs on the trail worship her.

A-Train
11-14-2009, 19:04
In response to SBhikes' post, I've been thinking about how the trail has changed me as well. However, I feel the opposite.

When I was prepping for the trail, I was working a lot, and reading and researching about the trail. I had a steady income and a really huge goal. It was great, I was going to a gym to "train" and then I left in March. Hiked the trail, flash forward, and I thought and talked to my hiking partners about my future plans for post-trail life.

Now that I'm home, I'm in that mid-twenties life stage where all of my friends are getting married and buying houses. An exicting time, but here I am, not-so-subtly hinting at my boyfriend about these things because he's the only aspect of my life where I feel comfortable and happy. So we talk about the future and finances and a house eventually and a wedding, eventually. So, long story short, we talk about Money, money, money. On top of that, I have none, and I owe my parents money from a few trail expenses while I was gone. Plus, I'm living with my parents, ugh, after the freedom of college and then the trail, and can't afford to live on my own.

Also, I'm working, sort of, as a substitute teacher. It's an ok job, when they call me to do it. Last week, 0/5 days, it's not like I need a paycheck or anything!!! So, after living the great life on the trail, now I'm back in the "real world" and have a million more headaches and things to worry about than before I left.

I've been sitting around during the day, feeling horribly depressed and unmotivated. The days are getting shorter and colder so I cant be outside as much. My body is still somewhat hurting from the trail which keeps me from wanting to go out and be active. I feel like a big failure after this huge life accomplishment. I can't motivate myself to do anything now and I don't know what I want to do with my life.

Don't get down, your feelings are pretty normal really. I remember going through much of this the past few years. The only thing that got me through was planning more hikes!

The best advice I give people is to stay as active and involved as possible. You need to re-establish routines and significant things in your life (activites, work, hobbies, volunteering, etc.)

As for the subbing, I hear ya. I've been doing it for 2 years to put myself through graduate school. If I get called it sucks, if I don't, it sucks. It will get better and remember you won't be doing it forever. It is a hard job. Trying and visit different schools and get yourself known. Once they find someone they like they'll call every day.

Best of luck

Pickleodeon
11-14-2009, 21:32
Thanks everyone so far.

Nick, you said to chase what makes me happy. As of now, I'm so lost. I'm have an art degree and barely kept my sanity getting it, plus I haven't done anything remotely artistic in the year and a half since I graduated. I don't have anything that I feel passionate about- artwise.

I'd like to do something productive, while I'm not working much, like it'd be nice to get my master's while I'm just subbing and don't have any take home work to do from school, but school districts pay for a master's, well, hopefully, with the economy some aren't doing it anymore. But I can't afford to go grad school right now without that.

After getting off the trail, I feel like I've done my world travelling for a while, I'm ok with being boring and staying in Berks county, PA, as boring as it sometimes is. I'm ok with that. I'm ready to be a grown up and have a house and at some point get married. I want that stability. Most of my college friends are off in other parts of the country/world floating around doing odd jobs, or jobs they don't like.

Some of it is definitely the seasons changing, I get it every year. But it's the added stress of having no money and the holidays coming up makes it worse. Plus, my friends and family are always like, Oh! What are you doing now that you're home? and trying to give me advice. It's like, oh I'm wasting my life away at 23 sitting in front of the tv.

sbhikes
11-14-2009, 22:05
After my hike last year I was also feeling lost. I wasn't able to complete my goal. As soon as I got home I found the volunteer page in the paper and joined something. It didn't make any money, but a lady there suggested a job I could get. I got the job and enjoyed it. I worked there all winter last year and I'm there again this year. Too bad it is temporary/seasonal.

I don't know what I will do next, but it has been very helpful to do a simple job that leaves my mind able to think about the trail and decompress from the experience. Last year by about April I was starting to feel ready to return to corporate life. But then I set out on the trail again and blew that whole idea away again. We'll see what happens, but I really do like having a low-stress job that doesn't suck the life out of me. I hope I can find another job like this. I don't care about the money as much as I used to, but I do have savings and I don't live by myself, so there's at least a small cushion there.

DapperD
11-14-2009, 22:22
Thanks everyone so far.

Nick, you said to chase what makes me happy. As of now, I'm so lost. I'm have an art degree and barely kept my sanity getting it, plus I haven't done anything remotely artistic in the year and a half since I graduated. I don't have anything that I feel passionate about- artwise.

I'd like to do something productive, while I'm not working much, like it'd be nice to get my master's while I'm just subbing and don't have any take home work to do from school, but school districts pay for a master's, well, hopefully, with the economy some aren't doing it anymore. But I can't afford to go grad school right now without that.

After getting off the trail, I feel like I've done my world travelling for a while, I'm ok with being boring and staying in Berks county, PA, as boring as it sometimes is. I'm ok with that. I'm ready to be a grown up and have a house and at some point get married. I want that stability. Most of my college friends are off in other parts of the country/world floating around doing odd jobs, or jobs they don't like.

Some of it is definitely the seasons changing, I get it every year. But it's the added stress of having no money and the holidays coming up makes it worse. Plus, my friends and family are always like, Oh! What are you doing now that you're home? and trying to give me advice. It's like, oh I'm wasting my life away at 23 sitting in front of the tv.I think one of the things you need to realize is you are returning to one of the worst recessions in the history of this country. There are very few job opportunities right now, let alone good ones. From what I have read it may take a few more years before these jobs begin to return. Life I believe has become much harder for the people growing up today, most of the good jobs, such as in manufacturing , that this country once had a bounty of and enjoyed, are long since gone. Prices for food,gasoline, cars etc.. have skyrocketed, to the point where people are becoming homeless everyday and at an alarming rate. I think buying a home is a great goal to have, and if you have the available funds, you can get a good deal I am sure on one right now. However this takes a lot of money, especially if repairs to it need to be made, preventative maintenance, etc...I think maybe you and your boyfriend(future husband) need to maybe look into renting a small home or apartment(if the price is right) first, in order to begin living independently from your folks, but first it would be in your best interest that you find suitable work that you enjoy so you will have the funds for all the bills that will ultimately follow.

oso loco
11-15-2009, 00:57
Thanks everyone so far.

Nick, you said to chase what makes me happy. As of now, I'm so lost. I'm have an art degree and barely kept my sanity getting it, plus I haven't done anything remotely artistic in the year and a half since I graduated. I don't have anything that I feel passionate about- artwise.

I'd like to do something productive, while I'm not working much, like it'd be nice to get my master's while I'm just subbing and don't have any take home work to do from school, but school districts pay for a master's, well, hopefully, with the economy some aren't doing it anymore. But I can't afford to go grad school right now without that.

After getting off the trail, I feel like I've done my world travelling for a while, I'm ok with being boring and staying in Berks county, PA, as boring as it sometimes is. I'm ok with that. I'm ready to be a grown up and have a house and at some point get married. I want that stability. Most of my college friends are off in other parts of the country/world floating around doing odd jobs, or jobs they don't like.

Some of it is definitely the seasons changing, I get it every year. But it's the added stress of having no money and the holidays coming up makes it worse. Plus, my friends and family are always like, Oh! What are you doing now that you're home? and trying to give me advice. It's like, oh I'm wasting my life away at 23 sitting in front of the tv.

Others have said it - you're going through post-hike depression. Its not surprising - you spent a lot of time planning the hike before you did it, then you spent 5 or 6 months doing the hike - and now you've got a huge hole in your life where the hike used to be. But you're not alone.

When I got off the AT, I spent 6 months looking for a job - and not really caring whether I found one or not. When I finished the PCT I had at least 3 job offers in the first month, took one of them and then spent 6 months working really hard to care about it. Turned out that it was the best job I'd had in 40 years. The message is - give yourself 6 months (at least). You need at least that much time to heal the hole in your life.

Betcha you didn't come to the Gathering, did you? One of the best healing things you can do is to get around other people who've shared your experiences - even if you never intend to hike again. So - make sure you get to the Ruck.

Oso loco - (didn't I tuckerize your pack last year?) :)

emerald
11-15-2009, 01:15
After getting off the trail, I feel like I've done my world travelling for a while, I'm ok with being boring and staying in Berks county, PA, as boring as it sometimes is.

Hey, don't be talking trash about Berks County unless you're referring to BMECC's Adopt-A-Highway segment bisected by the A.T. where it crosses PA 183. I called Ron to volunteer you on Sunday, November 29 at 10 AM. Will you be providing your own transportation or must we come fetch you?

chiefduffy
11-15-2009, 06:52
Emerald you are awesome

Lone Wolf
11-15-2009, 07:14
In response to SBhikes' post, I've been thinking about how the trail has changed me as well. However, I feel the opposite.

When I was prepping for the trail, I was working a lot, and reading and researching about the trail. I had a steady income and a really huge goal. It was great, I was going to a gym to "train" and then I left in March. Hiked the trail, flash forward, and I thought and talked to my hiking partners about my future plans for post-trail life.

Now that I'm home, I'm in that mid-twenties life stage where all of my friends are getting married and buying houses. An exicting time, but here I am, not-so-subtly hinting at my boyfriend about these things because he's the only aspect of my life where I feel comfortable and happy. So we talk about the future and finances and a house eventually and a wedding, eventually. So, long story short, we talk about Money, money, money. On top of that, I have none, and I owe my parents money from a few trail expenses while I was gone. Plus, I'm living with my parents, ugh, after the freedom of college and then the trail, and can't afford to live on my own.

Also, I'm working, sort of, as a substitute teacher. It's an ok job, when they call me to do it. Last week, 0/5 days, it's not like I need a paycheck or anything!!! So, after living the great life on the trail, now I'm back in the "real world" and have a million more headaches and things to worry about than before I left.

I've been sitting around during the day, feeling horribly depressed and unmotivated. The days are getting shorter and colder so I cant be outside as much. My body is still somewhat hurting from the trail which keeps me from wanting to go out and be active. I feel like a big failure after this huge life accomplishment. I can't motivate myself to do anything now and I don't know what I want to do with my life.

you're young, alive and healthy. what's the problem? quit feeling sorry for yourself and start living.

Lemni Skate
11-15-2009, 07:16
You sound like you have depression. It strikes a lot of people after accomplishing a major goal. I'd talk to my doctor about it if I were you.

I'd also try to put another goal in front of myself to work for since planning for that was so great for you. It doesn't have to be another hike or even anything outdoorsy or athletic, but figure out what's #1 on your things-I-want-to-do-list and start working towards it.

Give talks about your hike...church youth groups, scout groups, school clubs, elementary school classes...would probably love some first hand accounts.

Getting married isn't going to cure any of this. The wedding will give you something to focus on for a while, but then the marriage starts and you're right back where you are now.

If you can hike the AT you can do ANYTHING. Dream big.

babbage
11-15-2009, 08:17
Just face reality - you are a slave of the American Elite. For a while you experienced freedom, but now you are back to your shackled life. You want what they have told you is the 'Good Life'... to marry a republican, live a house that's owned by the bank, give most of your earnings to the rich, and to squeeze out future Christian Soldiers. So think about it...deeply. Maybe your instints are trying to tell you something.
Be free little pickle, be free. Be Alexander Supertramp.

Reid
11-15-2009, 09:26
Alot of things can change in a years time.

Not So Fast!
11-15-2009, 10:00
I'm no head-doctor, Pickleodeon, but your post sounds dangerously like the very American syndrome of "I'll be happy when...."

When I have a real job.

When my boyfriend marries me.

When I can move out of my parents house.

When I can hike the trail again.

I KNOW you are struggling, but make a choice to be happy NOW. Get off the computer, and away from the TV. Go volunteer somewhere. You will be amazed at your ability to find things to do where you feel welcomed, valued, and part of a community. Go make trail magic in Berks County (it certainly doesn't have to be for hikers).

When you were on the trail, you put yourself out there and made it happen. So put yourself out there again!!! It's just geography......

I wish you all the very best, but please understand that you are on a very slippery slope when you write that "my boyfriend...the only aspect of my life where I feel comfortable and happy". It's just not healthy to place that much of your well-being so squarely in the hands of another, especially when you refer to the freedom you found on the trail. Carpe diem!

Deadeye
11-15-2009, 10:56
Quit whining, get off your butt, and do something. Make a conscious decision to be happy. Provide fulfillment to others - don't rely on others for your own fulfillment.

Nicksaari
11-15-2009, 11:05
yeah i second what Emerald is trying to get you to do. give back to the trail. whether its trail work, magic, or picking up trash along that road- this can give you something nice to look forward to, and you network, the most important thing. this can leave the option open for anything. i hope that some of this nice weather were having today in central VA extends to PA ans it cheers you up.
or take a road trip to Maryland and go to Medieval Times and it will give you something to laugh at. but its kind of on the expensive time.
rent one of the PATC cabins in PA and take a trip with BF and think some stuff over.

Tipi Walter
11-15-2009, 11:08
The last thing you want to do is have kids. What's that bumper sticker say, "6 Billion Miracles Are Enough"?? If you really want to nix out backpacking and seal up your future, give birth.

And your quote: "The days are getting shorter and colder so I can't be outside as much." This one goes right over my head. I mean, if you can't be out in the winter, when can you be out? Here's my solution to the House Addicted: Get a bedroll or a tent, throw it out on the back deck or set up in the backyard, and start sleeping outside every night. Why not? You can be citified and stuck and still get your bag nights.

How to become a nylon-pumping bum and spend more time out in the woods? The Question of the Ages.

ASUGrad
11-17-2009, 12:02
Volunteer when you aren't working. Someone, somewhere needs YOUR help.

ShelterLeopard
11-17-2009, 12:15
This is kind of why I wanted to do my hike before college- then I have something to do afterwards.

ShelterLeopard
11-17-2009, 12:46
yeah i second what Emerald is trying to get you to do. give back to the trail. whether its trail work, magic, or picking up trash along that road- this can give you something nice to look forward to, and you network, the most important thing. this can leave the option open for anything. i hope that some of this nice weather were having today in central VA extends to PA ans it cheers you up.
or take a road trip to Maryland and go to Medieval Times and it will give you something to laugh at. but its kind of on the expensive time.
rent one of the PATC cabins in PA and take a trip with BF and think some stuff over.

And a little trail magic never hurts. (This suggestion has nothing to do with the fact that I'll be a thru hiker next year...) Seriously, give hikers rides from the trailhead, depending where you live, just drive to the trail and wait, you might like to talk to them. And call your hiker friends from the trail. Or like Nick said, pick up trash. Or come up and hike with me and some other WBers on my second shakedown hike in January.

emerald
11-17-2009, 15:03
Really, emerald only hoped she'd not spend her time between assignments moping.:( It's counterproductive. There are few predicaments out of which one can think one's self. Thinking unsupported by action ordinarily doesn't result in much.

She could hike with BMECC on Sunday.:-? I hear there are endorphin trees growing all along a forgotten path built by the CCC. A few who know this place will return to pay our respects and see what remains of this secret trail.:)

punkbohemian
11-17-2009, 18:31
Be free little pickle, be free. Be Alexander Supertramp.

Um...didn't he die as a product of his own recklessness?

To Pickleodeon, I've literally been where you are, specifically the sub-teaching in my mid-20s while living with parents, and the feeling like a failure after a pretty significant accomplishment (getting a masters, surviving cancer, getting into a Ph.D. program with a good rep.).

Regarding the former, (and I'm very biased in this regard, as I have been teaching for almost 10 years and am trying to leave the professon), I would leave teaching if possible. I've taught both secondary and higher ed. In secondary ed., quality education has taken a back seat to absurd policy-making by out of touch administrators. And, higher ed has gone from being an educational institution to a student-as-consumer business enterprise. In either case, it doesn't pay (financially and psychologically) to be an educator. Forget what you might have seen in The Dead Poet's Society or Dangerous Minds, go corporate, make more money for equally soul sucking work, and move out. :)

Regarding the latter, I think that when something super awesome happens (or one does something awesome), it becomes incredibly difficult to settle for the ordinary. Awesome is like a drug, you always want more and in larger doses. So, the way I see it, there are two options. One, you and the bf can work together to positively adjust to a "normal" life. Or, two, throw caution to the wind, think of something even more awesome to top the AT, and dedicate your life to accomplishing that. Then, repeat until it kills you. Frankly, I'm a fan of #2, but that's just how I roll. :P Seriously though, you have to figure out what's going to work for you. And while I'm not saying that you shouldn't take some time to decompress and be a little depressed, you shouldn't let it go on for too long, else you find yourself in a downward spiral.

I wish you the best.

McPick
11-21-2009, 23:54
You are anything but a failure, P. In fact, quite the opposaite... You are AMAZING!

I think what you've got is a bad (normal?) case of the "Post AT Thru-hiker Blues." And simply stated, they suck! Having lived it, I agree with our hiking brethren on WB, who have suggested that the "Blues" are not all that unusual. (Gotta be a song in there somewhere...)

PM sent, P.

See ya!

superman
11-22-2009, 00:40
you're young, alive and healthy. what's the problem? quit feeling sorry for yourself and start living.

Yes, carpe diem.:-?

Many Walks
11-22-2009, 01:18
Pickleodeon, you're really not in a bad place, but you just want to get your life moving again. A lot of thru hikers find they need to work through that. Your advantage is that you are young and have the time to go after things you really enjoy. Find something small that peaks your interest and gets you excited, then pursue it. As mentioned before volunteer, or check out courses at a nearby Community College, etc. Just try different things till you find something that feels right for you. Then set your sites higher for bigger challenges in the same area of interest. You'll get there. Wish you the best!

emerald
11-22-2009, 15:07
Seems to me she's not in a bad place at all and I can understand her frustration with not being able to get on with her post-hike program.

I remember not long after my own through hike when what may have been all of Berks County's 2000 milers and ALDHA members helped BMECC to build and relocate Eagle's Nest Shelter. BTI (before the Internet) life was simpler, hikers seemed less splintered into various groups and to have more time for such things.:(

I'm hopeful I'll live long enough to see things come full-circle.:)

Montana AT05
11-22-2009, 15:34
Alexander Supertramp? Not the brightest idea around...

Slave to the Elite? Oh boy, here we go again--the effects of Lala Land University, Inc.

To the OP, what you are experiencing is normal, and in a strange way, good. It means you think about your life and what you want. It means you understand that a good life is possible and worth pursuing.

If you like teaching, consider getting a TEFL cert--Teaching English to Foreign Learners. Check it, or other similar certs, out on the web. It would mean you'd travel though--to other countries for X number of months or years. That can be hard on a relationship. But it's an option.

Try to enjoy each day and the people around you. That alone will make a marked difference in your life. Work comes and goes, but here's the trick--recognize the difference between the employee and employer mindset.

Don't fall into the bitter mindset of class-warfare you see in posts above--int the mindset of a victim of imaginary foes.

Life is good, and finite-at least as we know it here. Enjoy. Things always change, there is always the good and the bad.

DrRichardCranium
11-22-2009, 18:22
Yes, carpe diem.:-?


"Carpe diem" is Latin for: "Seize the fish."

superman
11-22-2009, 19:39
"Carpe diem" is Latin for: "Seize the fish."

Salmon would be good.:)

Tinker
11-22-2009, 21:16
I'm no head-doctor, Pickleodeon, but your post sounds dangerously like the very American syndrome of "I'll be happy when...."

When I have a real job.

When my boyfriend marries me.

When I can move out of my parents house.

When I can hike the trail again.

I KNOW you are struggling, but make a choice to be happy NOW. Get off the computer, and away from the TV. Go volunteer somewhere. You will be amazed at your ability to find things to do where you feel welcomed, valued, and part of a community. Go make trail magic in Berks County (it certainly doesn't have to be for hikers).

When you were on the trail, you put yourself out there and made it happen. So put yourself out there again!!! It's just geography......

I wish you all the very best, but please understand that you are on a very slippery slope when you write that "my boyfriend...the only aspect of my life where I feel comfortable and happy". It's just not healthy to place that much of your well-being so squarely in the hands of another, especially when you refer to the freedom you found on the trail. Carpe diem!


What he said.

Dancer
11-25-2009, 14:47
You are the only person that can make you happy. Don't wait for your boyfriend, parents or employer to do it for you.

Get a real, steady job. Get a place to live. Get back to the gym. Get your happiness back.

Darwin again
11-27-2009, 09:57
There's so much excellent advice in this thread.
Take a hybrid dose of it (and the advice about getting out of teaching is spot-on-- it's not Hollywood out there and even a master's degree won't lift you up out of the swamp of intractable stuckness.) and plug in the solutions that work for you. You can mix and match...

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand)): Don't waste your time. She wrote 1,000-page anti-communist pamphlets and spent her entire life lashing out in response to what the commies did to her family in Russia -- talk about "stuck." She never understood that the opposite of communist is not escapist. Going Galt means running away, just like she did from her own home land and family and an act from which she never recovered psychologically. Our nation has suffered terribly at the hands of her acolytes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Greenspan). Rand's ideas work until, you know, you have to live in the real world, call a cop, need an ambulance or fireman, insurance, help from any other person, get old and need compassionate caregivers, etc. Just an FYI. ;)]

raru
11-27-2009, 11:40
Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand)): Don't waste your time. She wrote 1,000-page anti-communist pamphlets and spent her entire life lashing out in response to what the commies did to her family in Russia -- talk about "stuck." She never understood that the opposite of communist is not escapist. Going Galt means running away, just like she did from her own home land and family and an act from which she never recovered psychologically. Our nation has suffered terribly at the hands of her acolytes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Greenspan). Rand's ideas work until, you know, you have to live in the real world, call a cop, need an ambulance or fireman, insurance, help from any other person, get old and need compassionate caregivers, etc. Just an FYI. ;)]

That's why she's so appealing to 20-somethings struggling to assert their independence. But why shouldn't we return to the gold standard?

Montana AT05
11-27-2009, 19:07
Wow, that is some serious rubbish about Ayn Rand above. This thread just jumped the shark in the ignorant-angry-college-indoctrinated-student kind of way.

Darwin again
11-28-2009, 11:18
Wow, that is some serious rubbish about Ayn Rand above. This thread just jumped the shark in the ignorant-angry-college-indoctrinated-student kind of way.

Rand is big among high schoolers, true enough.
But there's no anger at all in what I wrote, just truth. I don't cosider myself ignorant or closed minded or of the type of person who thinks I know better than anyone else on any topic. Life is too big to be an expert in all matters.
Do some research and take an objective look at Rand and her work and it's fairly clear. Facts are facts. I have a degree in English literature, but I don't consider myself indoctrinated, however, I consider Rand defenders to be indoctrinated. What's the difference between being a narrow-minded defender of Rand and being a narrow-minded defender of say, ultralight hiking? Or Karl Marx?
Everything I wrote about Rand is true. I even provided you with references.

If there's a message in Rand's work, it's to take responsibility for one's self, not blame social-governmental institutions for our limitations.
Hikers should know this in spades.
Peace!

Pedaling Fool
11-28-2009, 11:48
Rand is big among high schoolers, true enough.
But there's no anger at all in what I wrote, just truth. I don't cosider myself ignorant or closed minded or of the type of person who thinks I know better than anyone else on any topic. Life is too big to be an expert in all matters.
Do some research and take an objective look at Rand and her work and it's fairly clear. Facts are facts. I have a degree in English literature, but I don't consider myself indoctrinated, however, I consider Rand defenders to be indoctrinated. What's the difference between being a narrow-minded defender of Rand and being a narrow-minded defender of say, ultralight hiking? Or Karl Marx?
Everything I wrote about Rand is true. I even provided you with references.

If there's a message in Rand's work, it's to take responsibility for one's self, not blame social-governmental institutions for our limitations.
Hikers should know this in spades.
Peace!
I pretty much agree with your assessment of Rand, but that begs the question: Why do so many hippy-like hikers worship her?

I know this because of my name John Gault. I didnít know about Ayn Rand or her book in 2006 when I hiked the trail, but I was inundated with Ayn Rand worshipers from people that were anything but conservative.

DrRichardCranium
11-28-2009, 12:51
Some hippy-types are libertarian. Libertarians are not exactly "conservative." They just want less government.

Darwin again
11-28-2009, 15:06
I pretty much agree with your assessment of Rand, but that begs the question: Why do so many hippy-like hikers worship her?

I know this because of my name John Gault. I didnít know about Ayn Rand or her book in 2006 when I hiked the trail, but I was inundated with Ayn Rand worshipers from people that were anything but conservative.

I think they like her "Take off and do your own thing" message, but they don't think through the part where we have to live together in society and be mutually supporting, else society comes apart pretty fast. For the ones who take off, "society" is always there for them to return to.

As my mom, the former flower child hippy and 60s veteran puts it, "You can only make so much money tying knots [macrame] and making candles."

For most of us, it's the commercial world that makes our trips into the woods possible.

Montana AT05
11-28-2009, 16:10
Darwin, you clearly have read little of Ayn Rand, or of her philosophy, Objectivism. Are you, perhaps, offended by her direct and damning statements about looters and moochers? Point to ponder...

You clearly do not understand who she sees the individual and society.

In fact, your statement above, where you claimed that "...everything I said is true. I even provided references" seems to suggest the mere presence of references equates truth. Whoa there Trigger, back up a bit...Al Gore provides references too...

In discussing society and our relationship to each other, Ayn Rand simply says that we must individually provide value to others in exchange for their value adds. Society is an exchaneg of values. Society is not the lazy and incompetent being provided values by producers and making the producers feel responsible for them.

And as to your ridiculous portrayal of Ayn Rand, which you claim is fact, well, here are your words:


Going Galt means running away, just like she did from her own home land and family and an act from which she never recovered psychologically.

A few points:

1. Are even remotely aware of what Soviet Russia was like?
2. Do you understand that people were murdered trying to leave that world? Do you know why? Meaning, why they tried to leave and why they were murdered?
3. Were you alive and mature enough when the USSR existed?
4. Are you Ayn Rand's pyschologist?
5. Have you even read more than exerpts from her works, or the related works by Leonard Peikoff on Objectivism? I think they answers here are, no and no.

John Galt, representative of heroic man--of good--of industrious behavior--did not "run away" as you scurrilously suggest. No. He removed himself and what he stood for from a world taken over by evil, i.e. by the American Liberalism of today (aka Socialism). It was a world that praised and elevated non-value, worshiped the non-producers, the moochers, and the looters.

Galt took away the only the only thing that allows Socialism, Communism, Liberalism, Fascism, et al, to exist--he took away the sanction of their victim. He took away the production that cannot happen within those societies (as proven time after time). He took away Good's acceptance of Evil's needs.

In any deal between Good and Evil, only Evil benefits, because Evil cannot exist without Good--Good can and does exist without Evil. Evil is a parasite. Good is an independent entity.

Going Galt means not allowing yourself to be the victim of evil. Evil cannot exist without the sanction of Good "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Going Galt means denying your production to those who not only refuse to pay you for it, but who insist it is your social duty to provide it, without payment. After all, Darwin, you need what the producers produce. Your need trumps their rights.

Without the productive members of society, evil (see above) cannot long endure.

After all Darwin, you can only spend so much of our money before we refuse to earn anymore.

I do not agree with all of her philosophy--notably the role of religion in the individual's life and her believe that the unborn have no rights--but I can appreciate her works for what they are and what they convey.

To say she "ran away" from her home and to suggest that is somehow a bad thing is to show considerable ignorance. And it is a statement that can only be made by an oppressor or by someone living comfortably at the cost of his betters.

In the end, Darwin, what you seem to fear is the removal of the producers sanction to how you view society. Your intentional misrepresentation of the woman reveals such.

Mags
11-28-2009, 16:23
Er..nevermind. I'm taking my own advice and taking a dog for a hike....

Short sarcastic comments (from a short, sarcastic guy) won't really affect this exchange. ;)

Pickleodeon
11-28-2009, 16:24
hey, thanks for hacking the thread.

Darwin again
11-29-2009, 15:52
I suggested Pickleodeon not bother reading Rand, since it will be a waste of time in terms of her finding her way beyond the Trail. I stand by that opinion. Other advice here is great.

{Montana05, you're missing the point. I don't care what you think of Rand or me or my opinion of her or her idiotic ideas. "He took away Good's acceptance of Evil's needs." Really? What lunacy is that? The bipolar world view of good vs. evil is an adolescent one. Objectivism is fully debunked (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=objectivism+is+bankrupt&aq=f&oq=&aqi=), like Eugenics. Click the links (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=ayn+rand+is+a+moron&aq=f&oq=&aqi=). Have a nice day.}

Darwin again
11-29-2009, 16:00
You prove my point yourself, Montana:
"Going Galt means denying your production to those who not only refuse to pay you for it, but who insist it is your social duty to provide it, without payment."
This is nothing more than anti-Marxist twaddle, which was my point to begin with, and which is the foundation of Rand's entire canon of writing. Beyond that, hers is a cult of personality.

I don't see how Pickleodeon's spending hundreds of hours reading crappy fiction to find out that "Marxism sucks!" is the whole point of it all could help her in any way.

Have a great day!

emerald
11-29-2009, 16:28
Since BMECC had enough help this morning, there was no need to go after Ashley. Should the need for a volunteer arise some other day, we do know how to find Leesport.;)

I can't even walk along a highway and pick up trash without a deer tick finding me. They must have heard tomorrow is the 1st day of the general firearms deer season.

HYOH
11-29-2009, 16:37
Pickle, Consider getting a job as a census worker. It pays fairly well and the contact you have with people in your community is very up lifting. You'll see areas you didn't know existed, meet people that you would have never otherwise had the opportubity to talk to, and you'll hear the whole gamit of opinions on politics, religion, conservation, ect, ect, ect. It's stimulating, entertaining, and very eye opening.

Best wishes, be happy, and hijackers SUCK!

Doooglas
11-29-2009, 18:05
Be careful, Ayn Rand was no liberal, she's about as conservative as you get. Which I get a chuckle out of because all the freaky libs on the trail worship her.
Here is the ' sweetheart" herself.:mad::mad::mad::mad:
I need a shotgun emoticon.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xKGZMwaIG8

Doooglas
11-29-2009, 18:06
Better yet.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ukJiBZ8_4k&NR=1

Christus Cowboy
11-30-2009, 15:41
....but whatever you do, DONT go to some happy & content third world country and spread (force) christianity. cause thats not cool and you DONT want to be that person.......

Sigh... here we go again let the Christian bashing begin......

Christus Cowboy
11-30-2009, 15:43
hey, thanks for hacking the thread.

Agreed.... actually I was enjoying reading it there for a while.....

Theo
11-30-2009, 17:51
Damn, I just want to be 23 again. I'll take all the BS that comes with it and have a Smile on my Face through it All. Babbage, What?????????????????

Stellbell3
11-30-2009, 18:03
Pickle......

I couldn't agree with your post more. After completing my dream of thru hiking the AT you'd think I would be overjoyed. But here I am, sitting with hours of the show Hoarders avoiding calls from the credit card company. Not motivated to find a job because being on the trail made me even MORE confused about what I want to do with my life(and I am older than you!).

The best advice I got on the trail was from a guy I met at Big Meadows. He thru hiked in 96 and said "when you get back home, just be easy on yourself." I had no idea what he was talking about. Now I do. Things will take awhile to work out. And everything will. You are obviously a motivated, determined woman.

And just think once spring hits again the trail is still there!!

emerald
11-30-2009, 18:26
It was there, still, yesterday. I could be wrong, but I think it didn't move at all since the last time I saw it.

sarbar
12-01-2009, 20:13
The last thing you want to do is have kids. What's that bumper sticker say, "6 Billion Miracles Are Enough"?? If you really want to nix out backpacking and seal up your future, give birth

Hoo, someone is bitter. I had my son at her age and it didn't slow me down - rather I hiked and backpacked more after having my son. I am pregnant this fall once again and while I cannot hike currently come spring I will be hiking while you cube dwellers are in work :rolleyes: With kid #2 strapped on me.........

PS: And there is nothing wrong with getting married, having kids and being domestic. Though you'd think it was wrong with how some wail on about it.

flemdawg1
12-02-2009, 12:18
Congrats Sarah!

Pony
12-02-2009, 15:17
Some hippy-types are libertarian. Libertarians are not exactly "conservative." They just want less government.

A set of dreadlocks doesn't make you a hippy. Most of the real hippies that I know are pretty clean cut looking. In fact most "hippies" that I know, know jack about music, are mostly just interested in drugs, and have little if any political ideology.

As to the OP, I think your feelings are natural and good, it means you actually question "normal" life. The least confused people I know are perfectly content with graduating H.S. or College, getting some corporate job with the hopes up making it to middle management someday, and then retiring to spend time with their grand kids during the summer and heading to Florida for the winter. When they die, everyone will stand around and say "well they had a long fullfilling life". I don't know about you but working in a cubicle for thirty years so that I can buy my dream home in some Florida town full of other retirees sounds pretty boring.

Pony
12-02-2009, 15:20
PS: And there is nothing wrong with getting married, having kids and being domestic. Though you'd think it was wrong with how some wail on about it.

Nothing wrong with not wanting these things either. Why do you not hear men saying, "gosh I keep dropping hints to my girlfriend about marriage, but she doesn't seem to be getting it"?

njordan2
12-02-2009, 21:48
I'll never live to be 23 again.

jnanagardener
12-02-2009, 23:17
Sorry you are having such a tough time. Although I hike often, a thru-hike is not something I can relate to...yet! A HUGE congratulations on this major accomplishment.

I am a high-school teacher who just turned 40. I say that because I've been teaching long enough now to have many, many of my former students in their early to mid-twenties come back to visit. If there is one common refrain from these world class young people, it is one that resonates with my own experience from that time: this is a time of your life where there is much uncertainty and questioning about your direction in life (regardless of your degree of education, socioeconomic background or even whether or not you have thru-hiked the AT!)

But for what it is worth, I know that your experience on the AT will pay HUGE dividends. Your character and commitment to completing that goal are the same underlying traits that will not only allow you to get through this rough patch but also ensure your "next steps" will be more sure-footed. Those kinds of experiences - like all challenges - have a way of guiding us to a place that fits.

I can also tell you that many of my former students who were blessed with a college education and a fairly comfortable upbringing say how much they wish they had not followed the path they thought "they were supposed to".

My advice, take some time to reflect on the amazing things you've done so far in your life. Reflect on the people who have helped along the way, but also those who you inspire. Keep that substitute gig open, no matter how infrequently they call and no matter if you decide you'll absolutely never ever be a teacher :-). Bring your pictures and your stories about the trail to some of those classes. Kids today are starving for real connections by people like you who took such a bold and confident step. (In an odd coincidence, I just brought my newly-laminated poster of the AT today to share with my students, who all know of my thru-hike dream!) Start taking some hikes locally with some friends so you can share some of that trail magic with others. How about writing down some of your thoughts?

And of course, keep reaching out to the good folks on White Blaze!

It's in you! We'll be looking forward to hearing about your upcoming successes...

sbhikes
12-07-2009, 11:45
Would students be interested in having people who completed long distance hikes come in and tell their stories?

jnanagardener
12-07-2009, 22:25
Knowing that I have not yet thru-hiked, some students appreciate my enthusiasm when I talk about the AT because we relate it to important concepts to our curriculum; others because they enjoy hiking or camping; others because they just love to talk about and share their adventures; and many, many more because a lot of our students are simply so removed from "nature" that they are starved to learn more about it. I have no doubt they would be riveted to a presentation about someone's thru-hike experience!

unl1988
12-08-2009, 12:32
I echo what other folks are saying: You are 23, probably healthy, accomplished a monumental feat, can clearly organize and plan . . . .

Go find some volunteer organization in your area and start making connections. The more things you do (hiking clubs, running clubs, volunteer organizations, etc.) the more people you will meet that can help you with your very temporary problem.

If you aren't making enough money as a subsitute teacher, go find another job that will keep your mind occupied and income flowing in. Times are tough, but I bet there are some jobs in the area - - they might not be what you envisioned, but they will pay yah.

Get busy living . . . the alternative sux.

Okie Dokie
12-08-2009, 15:28
Some good advice above...

It's perfectly natural to feel depressed/confused when your life moves from a very fullfilling stage to a somewhat drab stage...personally, I think that a life filled with general contentment interspersed with moments of joy is about all humans can reasonably hope for...and that's if you're in the relatively small percentage of the human race that doesn't have to seriously wonder (daily) where their next meal is coming from...I've never met anyone (or even read of anyone) who existed in a state of pure happiness their entire life...

A couple of quotes:

"Happiness is that for which a trap cannot be laid."

(You can select activities you think will make you happy - they may or may not produce the desired result - if one doesn't move on to the next.)

"Happiness is not "is". It is "was".

(One generally doesn't stop during the middle of an activity and think, "I'm happy"; rather, one reflects on a past activity and thinks, "My goodness, I was happy then".)

The secret for contentment in life, as well as "happiness", from my perspective, is to eliminate as many things as possible, that you know from past experience, won't produce either of those for you. For instance: I'm not content when I know that others are providing my upkeep...I'm not content when I must consult with others before deciding on a direction for my life...I'm not content when I feel I'm useless to others...I'm not content when _____, ah, you get the drift...

Personally, I've never felt more alive than when "hoboing" around, on a thru, or vagabonding on another continent, harvesting bananas, painting houses, then moving on...knowing that I'll soon be going back out "on the road" (or trail) keeps me content during the humdrum intervals that inevitably creep in between adventures...

Good luck !

sbhikes
12-08-2009, 20:29
There are lots of times when I have thought to myself "hey, I'm really happy." Lots of times it's when I'm hiking, long hike or short. On a long hike I have even thought, "Wow, I'm so happy. It's going to be so awful when this is only a memory. Oh don't think about that now!" I've even thought how happy I am during my big hike while feeling totally miserable! If that makes any sense.

Too bad so many of the times I've felt truly happy I've been doing things that provide little or no financial support or little to none of that "won't my mom and dad/future employer be proud of me/impressed with me" support.

buff_jeff
12-08-2009, 20:43
I've even thought how happy I am during my big hike while feeling totally miserable! If that makes any sense.



This reminds of when I was sitting above some town in CT on a rainy, cold, miserable day. I pulled out some oreos, sat down on the rocky overlook, and felt bad for the people in the cars and houses below me. :D

prain4u
12-13-2009, 03:21
I see many of these same things in Army National Guard Soldiers returning from a long deployment. While deployed, their life had a plan, purpose and pattern. Their life changed due to the experiences which they encountered while they were deployed. Then, they come back to the "real world" and feel lost--even if they have a job to return to. The transition is rough.

In many ways, there is a great deal of similarity between concluding a long deployment for a member of the National Guard and concluding a long hike for a hiker. Many similar feelings and experiences. The transition is rough form many members of both groups.

The advice that others have given you here regarding ways to fight the "depression" are good. I would encourage you to follow their advice.