Defining Me

In light of yesterdays post I wanted to challenge myself to come up with ways to describe myself, using only one word descriptions. So here goes nothing:

Energetic. Backpacker. Bear Bait (it’s a name so it counts as one word, right?). Nature. Artistic. Colorful. Adventurous. Writer. Musician. Family. Creative. Optimistic. Crazy. Outdoor-Enthusiast…. the list goes on.

I guess I was trying to prove to myself that I’m more than just words. I can’t define who I am in a single word because so much of who I am is much bigger than that. As my mother would tell you, I am a lady of many talents. I’m never satisfied with just one hobby, I want to try everything, experience everything. If you had asked me who I was back in high school, my answer would have been entirely different. Well, to be honest, my answers from a year ago would have been at the opposite end of the spectrum. Life and experience shape us, our definitions of ourselves are constantly changing. That’s a good thing. It means we’re growing.

Instead of questioning whether I fit into certain definitions, I’m challenging myself to embrace them. I am a backpacker, writer, hiker, outdoor enthusiast, amateur photographer. I am also much more than that. And maybe this is just part of being in my twenties, I’m trying to figure out my place in this very, very big world.

Clearly not being able to get outside and hike is getting to me. I have way too much time to think and ramble on. These are the kinds of things I think about while hiking, I usually find my answers while I’m out there.

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4 thoughts on “Defining Me

  1. At the end of your blog, you hit on one of my favorite subjects, which is winter hiking. Out here in the west, hiking is year round: when the snows some, we hike the coastal areas and the deserts. I did not realize how spoiled we are until I went to school in Texas for four years. Now, granted, hiking in Texas is a different challenge altogether, but in the warm months, you can always head to the Rockies if you can block off enough time. Now that, said, I had to get creative and find some good options in the winter, some of which are not too far from you. One that is pretty close to you is a little trip to northern Alabama. I hiked the Little River Preserve (surprisingly rugged with big waterfalls and a deep canyon) and Cheaha Mountain, the highest point in AL (http://www.summitpost.org/cheaha-mountain/151246). It is only about 4 hours from Asheville, if I remember correctly. If you can take four days or so and don’t mind driving all day each way (that can be a lot, I know but I have found that driving long distances to a backpacking trip is just part of the journey and can be a lot of fun) then you really, really should go to the Buffalo River in Arkansas. It is one of the best, if not the best, winter backpacking destination in the eastern U.S. (http://www.nps.gov/buff) It is awesome. If you are able to carve out a week, go to the Buff for a few days and then head over to the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma (www.summitpost.org/charon-s-garden-wilderness/274583). It is THE ideal winter destination east of the Rockies. I kid you not. You can backpack in beautiful granite mountains and you will not find better wildlife. Of course, there are always awesome western destinations perfect for winter like Big Bend National Park (best backpacking in Texas), Zion, the Grand Canyon and anything in Moab (headed there next week!). These all take more time and money, but even one trip out there each winter can be a real catharsis.

    Sorry for the long comment. I tend to do that. As far as who you are. Don’t try to define yourself. DO and BE and let your actions, relationships and commitments be your authenticity.

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    • Thank you so much for the suggestions! I had honestly not heard of any of these places (clearly I have some studying to do) but have now looked into all of those and the next time I can get some time off of work I plan on visiting these places, starting with Alabama.

      Again thank you so much, I always look forward to comments from you because they are filled with wonderful information on where to hike!

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      • You are welcome. I hope you are able to make it down there some time. Winter is not the best time to get out and hike but there is still a lot to discovered an enjoyed out there. I think my favorite experience was backpacking in North Cita Canyon out in the Texas Caprock. It is a deep canyon with red walls amidst the lonely Texas plains. I was the only person in the canyon and the wind was howling. It was so lonely and forsaken, it must have been what pioneers felt like out there in the sea of grass. If it had been warm, in the summer, I doubt I would have felt nearly as lonely for some reason.

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