Today, for my birthday, I trekked 28 miles- one mile for each year of my life. I mentally travelled through the years as I went, remembering where I was, what I did. When I started off this morning, I wasn’t sure if it would be able to do it so I just figured, I’ll try” and what a great feeling to accomplish it!
Mom offered to come up to meet me today so we could celebrate my birthday but I decided I wanted to spend it alone. I have a lifetime of birthdays to spend with friends and family and this is a wonderful chance to celebrate with myself. I took a selfie to commemorate the occasion- Happy Birthday to me!
As I walked, it was fun to think of my progress in terms of time rather than distance. I travelled through milestones of the years: sisters being born, moving houses, making and losing friends, starting to really try hard in school, the torment of adolescence, going to college, meeting Lance, on and on and on. As I got to my 27th mile I burst into tears, it has been the hardest year of my life. It is a relief to have it behind me.
I cried earlier in the day too when, as I sang a string of tunes to entertain myself, the song “All the Way” came into my mind. I just went for it and sang it even though I know it would hurt. I remembered how Jessica sang it at my wedding- she cried then too. The words rang true, I feel that my marriage didn’t work because I couldn’t and didn’t love Lance all the way.
Everything is on the surface. It is so easy for me to cry. I do it often. It doesn’t help that on top of everything else, I am phasing off of my medication. Obviously the constant self-reflection, the huge milestones and the hard work I’m putting myself through have a lot to do with it, but this ease of access to my emotions is rare for me. I hate wondering if my feelings are my own. I look forward to having no medication, no outside variable to make me question what is real.
At the end of the day I wanted to just get done but it was so beautiful that I had to stop and take in the scenery many times. The trail followed along a steep hill amidst tall straight white pines that cast beautiful shadows along the trail. I saw a family of raccoons including adorable little babies. It was wonderful that the beauty was so strong that it forced me to stop and appreciate it.
I met a single person on the trail. A middle-aged mountain biker named Lloyd. I saw him on the trail and we chatted briefly. I told him it was my birthday. He surprised me by meeting me at the end of my trail. We rode together the last of the way into Petoskey and he treated me to a burger and a beer for my birthday. It’s wonderful when my suspicions about most people being goodare borne out. I now have yet another name and address to send a thank you to.
Continue to the next entry in the series here: Day 10: Petoskey to Crooked Lake
Go back to the last entry in the series here: Day 7: Landslide Lookout to Side of the tracks