Unemployment, Nerves, Excitement; Final Prep Weeks

Backpacking

Less than 30 days from now I’ll be standing atop Springer Mountain, and it still does not seem real. There’s such a long, long planning process involving significant others, family members, friends, and, at the end of the day, employers.

I feel like I’ve been planning this thing for forever. Purchases, purges, a million YouTube videos watched, second guessing everything. Talking and being open with my wife about how we both feel about it. Then the shakedown hikes. So much is involved.

No More 9 to 5

All of this is expected, but for the longest time I put off resigning from my job. I was raised that if you don’t have a job, you find something else immediately. That meant taking jobs that weren’t that great (shout-out to any other sandwich artist alum). So, knowing what I’ve been intending to embark on, I felt like I’ve been on an unending ski lift to the top of a mountain. I knew I was going to leave my job, but for the last few months I feel like the ski lift was just lasting forever.

Honestly, I wanted to give a lengthy notice. So, as of this week, I put in my three-week resignation to my job, my career. I told my manager, who trained me, that a change was needed, and I was just honest. I was terrified going into the meeting, but the reaction was the total opposite of what I expected. All in all, I’m leaving on a good foot, with the possibility of rejoining once I’m done with my journey. I really cannot complain, as this was one of the more stressful areas of planning.

Looking forward to counting blazes instead of days.

Leaving Your Heart at Home

So, with that sorted, what next? I’m confident on gear (although I repeatedly lay everything out, pack, unpack, repack), but still, nerves set in. Leaving home for five to six months, without your best friend of almost 15 years, is kind of insane? I’m hiking, she’s working, taking care of the apartment, the cats. I feel selfish a lot of times. She’s stood by me the whole time, though, and is seeing me off from Springer Mountain. She knows just how important this is to me.

She is an insanely strong, brilliant person at the end of the day, so I know she’ll be fine. But I’ll miss the evenings in with no plans, the rooftop hangs with wine, her insanely crazy impromptu meals that she whips up out of nowhere. Critiquing each other’s music playlists (I try to defer to her, lol). I know I’ll get to see her when I hit Shenandoah, our mutually favorite park, where we can sidetrack to breweries. Hopefully, I can get her out on the trail for a night or two, and *fingers crossed* she can summit with me on Katahdin.

Going to be tough leaving this one at home.

In my meeting with my manager, when I was giving my notice, I told her that I’d gotten complacent. Personally, professionally, I was not confident. Now that I know this is a thing, that I have a date set, I’m much more confident. I’m excited. Life is short. We take a lot of things for granted. That said, do the things that are important to you to take hold of your life. It might not be easy, but that is the thing. Do something that shocks the system, to make you feel alive again. Do the thing that is not easy, but makes you live.

Follow along on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daveisoutside/

Want to know what’s in my pack? Check it out: https://lighterpack.com/r/aw4zya

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