I originally wrote the post you are about to read in mid November, but never quite got around to posting it. Soon you will see a follow up, now that we are again preparing to leave, but I think it is really important that we share all aspects of this adventure with you; even when they are mostly internalized rants about being depressed.
So it’s been about a month and a half since our return to Florida. We came back to a nightmarish rental car return, no jobs, and the airbags on my car recalled.
And thus the waiting began. We had three options for how to spend our winter – bottom of the list being to stay in Florida. Top to go to Tennessee and help with the building and opening of a new hostel.
Pretty much all of it waiting on the settlement of a wrongful pay suit to cover trail-induced credit card debt and the purchase of a van or other vehicle for us to truck up to Tennessee.
So, we sat. We waited for phone calls from the seemingly always busy lawyer, which kept us from being able to repair or purchase a vehicle, settle housing options, or even – in my case – apply for jobs. How could I interview and set something up if there was no guarantee of when I could get there to start or even if we’d be able to relocate?
Unfortunately, we waited too long. The job for Dylan, and potentially for me, in Tennessee is gone. We missed out, not only on an incredible learning experience, but also on the last 45 days or so that we could potentially have been earning income elsewhere, especially since I was offered a seasonal job at my pre-trail employer due to staffing shortages.
I am not one to sit on my hands. Dylan is not happy to be back in Florida. Every day since we got off trail we have checked social media and seen friends and strangers who are still out there either continuing on or finishing up their hikes. This means that, much to my chagrin, most of the month of November has been spent in varying degrees of Post-Trail Depression; including a day in which I literally did not leave my dark room except for the bathroom, water, and snacks.
In an effort to keep myself from falling too deeply, I’ve cooked (not ramen) almost every day and almost every meal. I’ve baked almost all of my mother’s back stock of box mixes, as well as a few batches of from-scratch cookies and pies. I reread the Harry Potter series in under a week. We spent four days at my dad’s in West Palm. I’ve become obsessed with the new fad app HQ Trivia. I go to the dog park for hours every day.
I am such a hodge podge of feelings right now. I’m happy to be back, but I hate it here. I miss my job and my coworkers, but I want anything but to return to routine. I want to keep up my muscles and work out, but I want to eat everything and watch Netflix. I want to keep hiking, but I want to do nothing but sleep and cuddle my dogs.
I feel like I am just absolutely losing my mind.
Hopefully soon I will be able to get back to work and bury myself in a career that I absolutely love. There is not near so much pressure this time because the incredible team I had to leave behind is, not only endlessly supportive of what I left them to do, but excited and supportive of the fact that I am going to leave them, again, to try and finish that mad and insane venture we embarked on in April.