I went on a little adventure on Saturday to visit a few waterfalls and try to catch a glimpse of some Fall leaf color before it goes away. The higher elevations are already looking pretty bleak and winter-like but for the most part it looked to be peaking at the places I was. The weather was fantastic and the skies were crisp and clear so I was able to snap some good pics.
I’m feeling somewhat directionless right now. I get this way often; any kind of constant routine tends to do it to me sooner or later. I fall into this circle of going to work at the same time every morning, coming home at the same time in the afternoon, doing the domestic chores the same day as last week, etc. While some people find a routine like that comforting and an inevitable part of life, doing the same things the same way all the time makes me feel a little rundown. Like I’m spinning around in a big circular rut, and even though it feels like I’m constantly moving in different directions, the only thing that really happens is being dizzy and knowing that I’ll fall over if I stop. But usually all it takes is some small deviation in the pattern to break up the monotony and make me feel better. Things like spending a weekend day exploring back roads I’ve never been on before, having lunch at a new place, or buying a new geek toy. Nothing major, just a little distraction for a bit to refresh me, and then it’s back to the routine until the next distraction is needed.
Lately though nothing has seemed to help. It’s been this way since I had to come off the Trail, but the feeling is intensifying. I have a couple of job interviews for office-type positions this week, and I know that’s what’s making it worse. Don’t get me wrong, it’s taken months to get this close to working again in this economy and I’m happy to finally have some interviews lined up. I need a job in a bad way right now. But the thought of stepping into a new office-job and starting to spin around in a new circle is horrifying for me.
I’ve changed jobs and moved to new places before (and enjoyed doing it), so it’s not the idea of starting over somewhere that’s the problem. Things are different now. The time I spent on the Trail and what it awakened (and continues to awaken) in me has changed something fundamental inside. “Hike your own hike” is as good a motto for life as it is for AT hopefuls and I’m trying to listen to my inner guide and follow my own path. I don’t want to spin in place this time; that way of living is not for me anymore. I want to keep walking forward and experience new things every day.
But I’m scared that I’m going to wake up a year from now and realize that I’ve fallen into the trap yet again. Whenever I think of the jobs I’m interviewing for this week I start feeling dizzy and the sense of directionless sends me reeling again. I don’t know what to do or which direction to go. I really miss the Trail.