These are Sleeping Beauty’s feet. Socks and sandals. One of the best parts of SB, as I will call her, is that she just does. Does what is in front of her.
“It’s cold out. I’m kayaking. Can’t get my good shoes wet. Socks and Sandals it is.”
To her, what anyone thinks is not relevant. “What you think of me is non of my business.” That’s one if my aims as a sober man. Do what is right, not what someone else might do.
Socks and sandals.
Ok. I’ve beat that idea to death.
Oh. Hi Bets. Hi Lindy. Hi Dave. You are the 3 friends who actually read this stuff and care. Even talk to me about the writing. In a kind, quiet way, offering your support. I realized today that I write to you 3 now, as well as my family. Especially my cousin Norma.
That intent, writing to you, just floats around in my head as this stuff comes out. You have helped me to be fearless over the last two years.
Today, I am going to cross another line in the Journey that is my life. I’ve been to dependent in many ways. I need to go it more alone.
I’m going to start drinking again. Ha. Nooooo! Just kidding. I guess I got too serious there. Too serious, directly to humor. Sorry. I shouldn’t even kid about that.
Back to my new start.
Two years ago, nearly to the day, my friend John and I passed Sleeping Beauty on the Trail just south of the Kirkridge Shelter. That chance meeting set off a two year hurricane in my life.
I decided to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. I entered the AT Community. My nephew Daniel was murdered. My dear wife dived into the terrible pit that grief can excavate. I became a Section Hiker. I became a tennis fan. I gained a third daughter. I found my Higher Power again. SB helped and guided me through my first real Spiritual Journey. I finished 700 miles of Trail. I met wonderful people from all over the world. I got held up at gunpoint. As a result, I began living in another dimension. A completely new world for me. My wife and I reconnected. I hiked up MacAfee Knob. I decided to become a different person.
You can do that , you know, decide to become a different person. I did that the night HP lifted me out of my alcoholism. I can do that again.
I’m not sure yet just who that different person will be. I just know that he will be doing what’s right in from him, the next Right thing, the best way he can, regardless of what anyone else thinks.
It’s time to carve out a new path.
On the outside, very little will change. I will begin getting rid of all the excess. All the toys I won’t be playing with anymore.
On the inside, there will be lots of change. I will stop depending on the people in my life for my happiness. That is such a dumb way to live. I must find my happiness without needing to attach to anything or anyone.
What an amazing two years it has been. Meeting SB changed my life. Daniel’s death changed my life. Landi’s grief changed my life. The Appalachian Trail changed my life. My brush with a violent death changed my life. I am not at all like the man I was 2 years ago.
I am All In. I am a good husband again. I am a good dad again. I am a good friend again. I am good enough, just the way I am.
I don’t know how I got this huge font!!!
There. That’s better.
I am different.
I’m going to the Kirkridge Shelter for lunch today.
I’m back at the cabin. It was great.
This shelter seems like the right place to start my new life. Where the last two years began.
I spent my first night on the Appalachian Trail here. If you’ve followed along, you may remember that I didn’t give Sleeping Beauty any water when she needed it. That was the day I arrived here, camped, cooked, and realized I had way more water than I needed.
That need to make an amend to SB, started the entire chain of events I’ve described above.
I did the wrong thing and got the right results. I don’t know what the lesson is here. I guess maybe, what is going to happen, happens, regardless of what I do.
I’m not that important.
Paying attention to my life and all that it touches, that is what is important.
Others. Helping others.
Big Smile. New beginning.