On my recent journey across the Atlantic to England to bring my recently widowed mom back home to California, I read the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed, in which she documents her epic 3-month solo trek on more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Coast Trail at the tender age of 22.
Along the trail, she faces a multitude of obstacles, from wild animals to rock slides, a lost hiking boot, fear, cold, hunger… and yet she emerges triumphant and discovers joy, peace, courage and her own distinctive voice in the world.
What better or more inspiring metaphor for my blogging journey into the vast unknown! One of Cheryl’s first hard earned lessons on the trail was that she had way over stuffed her backpack with every possible contingency, to the extent that she could barely get it on her back and literally staggered under its weight.
Being somewhat of an over packer myself, as evidenced by my heavy suitcase in the airplane hold, I am pondering…. What is my backpack filled with that is weighing me down? What can I let go of so I can walk down this path freely, without being burdened by unnecessary weight and baggage?
At some point in her journey, Cheryl meets a fellow hiker who pushes her to divest herself of a good portion of her unnecessary stuff, lightening her load considerably.
So…. here goes what I am chucking out of my backpack on this blogging journey.
Item No 1 - Perfectionism. Weighs a ton, don’t need that. Need I say more?
Item No 2 – Procrastination. Oh boy, the accumulated weight of all those “I’ll do it tomorrow’s”; whoever knew they loaded you down so much?
Item No 3 – Judgment. As in “what on earth do I have to say?”, “I don’t really have anything to offer”, “it’s not good enough” or worse yet, ”I’m not good enough”. Ta ta, nasty judgments.
Item No 4 – Worry. “I’ll run out of things to write about.” “No one will read it.” No one will like it.” Worry, I really don’t need you.
Phew, that feels better. Perfectionism, procrastination, judgment, worry… I leave you by the wayside to compost. I take a deep breath and I look up to the mountains and the sky, and it is a good day to be on the trail.