I went hiking yesterday. This is something I’ve been trying to do on Saturday mornings. With the recent rain, there was a lot of water coming over the falls at Bridal Wreath Falls, and when all was said and done, I hiked 7.75 miles and climbed around 1500 feet to see all the beauty Mother Nature has to offer in these parts.
I often choose to take the lesser traveled trails when hiking. I enjoy being alone and I like to get lost in my thoughts without having to worry about entertaining others or being part of a conversation while I’m trying to catch my breath as we climb up switchbacks to get to the top of that next ridge. Occasionally I’ll talk to myself under my breath; it’s a habit I’ve had since I was a kid and it helps me work out whatever is churning in my mind at any given moment. As I was making my way back to the trailhead I think I startled a woman making her way up the trail alone. She said to me, “I’m sorry, I was talking to myself.”. I simply replied, “Oh, don’t worry, I didn’t hear you and honestly, the reason I’m usually on the back trails is so I can talk to myself without startling people”.
We had a bonding moment.
As I sorted my head out while reveling in my solitude, I realized that my approach to life changed a bit when both my father and my father-in-law both passed within a week of each other in late 2011. Shortly after the services, an acquaintance said to me, “we’re not really men until our fathers are no longer around”. I think I really took that statement to heart and went to “adulting” mode in high gear. I mentioned this to my husband later in the day yesterday and he said “you definitely changed after our dads passed”. He quickly followed up that the changes weren’t for the worse or anything, I just didn’t seem to have as much as fun as I did when we first met.
I always attributed that to just getting old.
While I was hiking I got to thinking about the videos I used to make and the photos I used to take and all the crazy little things I would post here on this little bloggy thing and I started to realize I missed that frivolity.
Always looking for the “why”, I started to wonder if my change in attitude had something to do with the changes in society in general. Social media was a lot more fun in the early ’10s. While politics have always been annoying, people weren’t quite so incredibly nuts back then. All of this (gesturing wildly) felt a lot less chaotic in general and as life in the United States became, for lack of a better word, darker as the ’10s wore on, I just felt less inclined to be giddy and frivolous in my creative pursuits. I was adulting because it seemed like the necessary thing to do.
I feel like we all take ourselves way too seriously these days.
Every once in a while I’ll meet a random person who just has the most awesome energy. It’s a vibe that is so full of light. I remember that feeling. And I need to find that, and more importantly, share that vibe again.
When I started this blog over 20 years ago I just rambled about life. I hoped to make people smile. Sharing the smile vibe makes me smile. Smiling is good.
So, right then and there on the way down from Bridal Wreath Falls, I made a short snippet of a video.
It’s less than 10 seconds and it’s just a statement. But wow, it felt amazing.