I am not going to sing the praises of nature, as if a walk in the woods can fix all your problems. The woods are not medicine. I am not going to tell you that being alone in the woods makes it easier to think, because it doesn’t. And I’m not going to tell you that hiking alone is fun, because I would be lying.
It is hard.
It is hard when you pull yourself over what you thought for sure was the top of the mountain, only to see you still have ages to go.
It is hard when you forget water, or bug spray, or first aid, and you feel stupid and a little scared.
It is hard when you make a wrong turn and suddenly the woods get darker and you feel very, very alone, and you wonder how the hell you ended up where you are.
It is hard when you fall, whether you hurt yourself or your pride, and it is hard when you feel alone.
It is hard, and lonely, and it can be terrifying.
We don’t always do things to be fun, or easy, or for them to make us happy. Sometimes it’s not about having a happy walk in the woods, seeing wildflowers or playing in rivers.
Sometimes it’s more important to fall, and get lost, and make mistakes.
It’s worth it in the moment you pull yourself up again, and brush off the dirt. It’s worth it when you clean out and bandage your own cut, and when you pull out a compass you’ve never had to use before and figure it out.
And it’s worth it when you get to the place you wanted to go, simply because you did it yourself, and it wasn’t easy. You earned your final destination, and every moment in between.
No, it’s not easy, and it’s not fun, and sometimes it fucking sucks. It makes you feel small, and insignificant, and utterly at the mercy of nature. But it can also make you feel strong.
I guess I don’t want easy. I guess I want good.