Saturday, July 14, 2012

Answering the Call

Since my last post, I haven't done very much hiking.  I did spend another 9 miles on the AT a few weeks ago, but work and job applications and an unbearable heatwave have taken the place of my wanderlust.  However, I mentioned in my last post that the call of the wild had been reignited.  I want my readers (both of you) to know that the call is as fervently aflame as ever.

I was offered a seasonal instructor position in the appropriately named "forever wild" Catskill mountains of New York.  The job involves me taking groups of all ages out on adventures each day.  Outside.  Rain or shine.  In the mountains.  This autumn.

I have not yet told the organization that I'm going to take the offer, but I am.  And they will know first thing Monday morning.  There really wasn't much to think about, even as I said the words "can I take a few days to think about it," I knew the answer I'd give.  I just had to shake off the shock that I was not offered the hoped-for 10-month position, but rather a 4-month position.  The money I'll make is cause for drawing up an extensive spreadsheet and for the first time in my life creating a "tight budget" and determining which things that were once thought of as essential can now be termed unessential.  Nutritious groceries are not necessarily exempt from that list.  

But that's how badly I want this.  I'm willing to throw to the wind all sense of security and stability.  Never mind that I'll have to work--correction: LIVE--with people whom I've never met.  Never mind that there is no cell phone service for a good 20-mile radius or that the nearest town is the same distance away (and it's a far cry from what I'd normally consider a "town").  Never mind that all things and people familiar and safe will be a four-hour drive away.  Never mind that there is a very real chance that come November I will be homeless and jobless.  (However...There is also a small chance that a long-term position might possibly maybe hopefully open up).

I've accepted that I simply have no choice.  If I don't take the position, I'll be doomed to question for the rest of my life "what if..." and I'm not willing to allow another dream go the route of so many other dreams I've had...

Me (2002)
This cannot be the same.  I wrote something down many months ago, a line that has become somewhat of a life-sustaining mantra:

If we do not believe whole-heartedly in the attainability of our dreams,
we are destined to an unfulfilled life.

Two years ago I spent 11 days in the Adirondacks and the Catskills with my then boyfriend.  I owe him an impossible debt for introducing me to the outdoors.  One of our first dates was a day hike in Pennsylvania and I had fallen in love then and there, in more ways than one. I digress. Fortunately, the love for the outdoors remains a healthy, happy, satisfying, stimulating relationship.  Lifelong for certain.  During that 11-day trip I wrote in a journal that I would someday return to the mountains to stay.  

This job offer is undoubtedly connected to that promise I made myself two years ago.  I don't know anything about fate or destiny, but I know a thing or two about the scientific laws of inertia.  The pull to return to the mountains is strong, and to fight against it would certainly defy the laws of science.  I am a woman in motion.

It's all happening.  I'm on the precipice of a life beginning to take a meaningful shape.  A life I created from the very thread of my lofty and lionhearted dreams.