I thought that this would be a fun little post, it is #tbt after all! (please don’t judge me for using a hashtag in my post!)
It’s fun to look back on old pictures and reminisce on how different things used to be, how different you used to be. Who I was in college is pretty different to the girl I am now. In college I was pretty busy between work and classes, adding a social life to that meant that I didn’t have a whole lot of free time. When I did have free time hiking, or really spending any extended amount of time being active outside, was not exactly at the top of my list of things to do. In the five years that I spend in college I can count on two hands the number of times I went hiking. The number of times that I actually went camping is so pathetic I’m a little embarrassed to share (I went twice).
I was definitely more focused on looks and appearance. At one point I even started saving up for a pair of Jimmy Choos, (they start at $600+) I mean really… Think about how much gear I could get with that money! I was looking for ways to work for a fashion magazine. I almost never left the house without makeup on. Don’t get me wrong, I still cared about being active and the environment has been a concern of mine since I was little, but my priorities shifted while I was in college.
Moving to Asheville and essentially starting over gave me an opportunity to reevaluate what was truly important to me. I reconnected with nature and found the time to truly focus on the things that I’m actually passionate about. I found hiking and backpacking and have connected with wonderful people who enjoy the same things I do. I’m pretty sure in the past year I’ve doubled the amount of times I went hiking while I was in college. I traded in my heels and dresses for hiking boots and outdoor gear. I’m pretty sure the only things I’ve bought for myself in the last year have all been hiking or backpacking related. Since then my anxiety and stress levels have plummeted. I’m happier. My dog is happier. My life is better.
I can’t imagine returning back to the person I was in college. I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunities and experiences that I’ve had because of hiking. They say being in your twenties is all about figuring yourself out and soul-searching. They couldn’t more right. I am constantly growing and developing as a person and finding the courage and passion to pursue my dreams head on. If you had talked to me two years ago about where I’d be now, I never would have pictured this life for myself. I wouldn’t change one second of it.