Day 36: Too Long in Tehachapi and the Decision to Jump North

I spent a few days in Tehachapi. I couldn’t figure out what to do. My itinerary called for leaving a day ahead of TnT. But by this time, I felt too weak emotionally to go by myself. Then, due to all the stress we felt independently, Aaron and I started arguing about whether or not I should come home. It’s hard for us to be apart. I finally agreed to come home for a few weeks. I needed to figure out what was going on with myself, anyway.

It was hard to leave TnT, especially because I felt like Texas and I were becoming closer, connecting. Tumbler and I butted heads, but I like the guy. It felt like I had somehow known him forever. They are both the first “in real life” friends I’ve made since the recovery of my mental breakdown. Of the things I got from this first part of the trail, their friendship has been the most important, not to mention the most enjoyable. They are still out there while I bide my time in Sacramento, doing it their way; giving no fucks. I miss y’all!

I hope you guys are still hanging on with me; I know it’s not the typical PCT experience, and everyone wants to read about that successful thru hike. Just like TnT, I have to do my own messy, haphazard version. I don’t really have a choice. If I don’t allow the parts where I fall down, run away, get scared, get weak, and give in to what is easy, I’m never going to get better at pushing through, pulling myself up, tolerating the painful/uncomfortable/embarrassing moments, choosing self-reliance and choosing the harder ‘now’ thing for the more rewarding ‘future’ thing. I have to define success differently. Or rather, I have to define failure differently. I have to tell myself that the only true failure there is, is the failure of not trying.That is the nature of managing mental illness.

And, so. I’m not ready to call it quits. I want to continue trying. I want to get better at trying. Make sense? When I finally leave the trail, whenever that is, it will be with pride that I gave it my all. I guess I’m saying that I have yet to give it my all.

The plan is to jump north, maybe around Old Station in Northern California. There’s still a lot of snow everywhere, so I don’t have an exact date yet. I’m looking at Northern California as the next chapter of my tale, with new trail adventures to tell and old fears to continue to slay. There’s still time for me to get the full PCT. Let’s find out. Thanks for staying with me!  🙂 -Amy Bee, not a true thru