I learned so much about myself today. An "aha" moment at the end. Then another one at the very end.
I parked next to an elderly man sitting at the picnic table and his Harley Davidson. I smiled at him thinking "he looks kind and he's someone I would talk". He smiled back.
I began my hike not caring much about trail directions. I think of them more like instructions, which is synonymous with structure and I am not keen on that. I previously grabbed a trail map at the park entrance of Robbers Cave.
Nearly instantaneous, I wound up off the beaten path. I trekked thru a thick bed of pine needles, bark and other vegetation where I sank down from the surface. I thought "there has to be a snake in here somewhere. I'm probably getting chiggers again. Oh I bet there's poison ivy or oak all over me now. I hope I don't get lost. How did I miss a turn or get off the trail? Man they really don't have this trail marked well." With all this incessant chatter who really has time to accomplish what they came for?
A few minutes later, I retraced my steps and found the trail again. Thankful. I wanted to stay on it.
I made it to the top of the Oklahoma size mountain to find a breathtaking overlook as a family swam in the lake down below. I stopped to take pictures and tried to stop the thoughts swirling in my head again. This seems to be an issue. I started back on the trail again and got lost again. I told myself when I found the path again, I was turning back. I pulled out the trail map, which only gave me a point of reference to match with the GPS on my phone. This all kind of scared me- being lost in the woods.
After climbing under boulders, down slippery slopes and past limbs hitting me left and right, I retraced back to the trail. Again. I told myself you aren't turning around! This task is meant for you. Figure it out.
After walking over two lakes, thru horse poop, mud, water- all of this didn't bother me- I found a main road. I made an executive decision to finish the hike by walking down the main road because I knew it would lead back to base. I burst out laughing as soon as I stepped on the asphalt. How funny, I go on an eight mile hike and finish by walking down blacktop. This isn't the point of a hike!
I figured out the entire reason for this misadventure. I'm really good at directions, geography, topography and have a strong sense of knowing my way around the whole time. So why then did I need to keep looking at a map? Why did I need to keep questioning myself? Questioning my decisions? Why was I slightly scared I would make the "wrong" decision and get lost?
I realized, if you constantly question yourself and need to look at so called directions or instructions on a hike, what else do you do this with? A map doesn't mind you constantly referencing, questioning, checking- BUT PEOPLE DO. This pulls people away.
The only other solution is to know you're smart, capable, and worthy of finding your way. Keep walking with your heart open, your intuition guiding you, most importantly trust yourself. If you make a wrong turn you can eventually find your way out of the forest. You won't just lay down and die there.
The same OK State Park worker drove by me to say "wow you hiked far" and asked if I needed a ride. I declined.
When I got back to to my car, the same black leather jacket Harley rider sat in the same spot at the picnic table. I was impressed he was there so long and told him so. This had to be a God thing. He told me he took a few naps and couldn't believe I was gone that long. After talking to him, I felt he waited for me to see if I would make it back okay. A single girl walking by herself.
Johnny told me about his two daughters and grandchildren, his arrowhead collection and animal skull findings, his love for the river and his airboat. Then Johnny told me about his 26 or so years of being single. He gets lonely sometimes. He's had girlfriends but hasn't found the right one. He doesn't like smokers nor drinkers. Johnny has been this way since his wife left him after 22 years of marriage. They married when she was 19 and he was 20. She wanted the glitz and glam high-profile life a doctor, Senator or lawyer could provide. He was blue collar worker who made a lot of money working the bulldozer on pipelines across the U.S. Johnny loved the simple life and wide open space.
I learned from Johnny you must be with someone who is really inline with your views and values. If you're a girl who likes to hike than don't be with someone who loves air-conditioning and the mall. I decided I don't want to end up like Johnny. It's okay to have hours of free time and space, but he's going home alone.
This might be the greatest lesson for my love-sick relationship.
I don't know what I'm doing. I'm not sure if I'm holding on because I'm afraid of letting go or if I'm letting go because I'm afraid to hold on. I don't know if I can work through this. I don't know if this is a part of my healing, trusting, evolving, or if it's just a thing to cut off because the lesson was already taught.
What's so wrong in this moment? Don't worry about the past or be anxious about the future.