Thursday, July 11, 2013

Restless Rest

Being as I'm on a short, self-imposed (see: taking the advice of a doctor) break from hiking, I thought I'd write some things, and possibly some stuff, with a little surprise tucked in.

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." ~ Frank Herbert

Irrational self-doubt. I experience it. I think I'm a terrible writer, yet here I sit, hacking away. It's a state that wanders between belief and disbelief, and I have a hard time grasping it. I've been writing this blog for nearly a year, and looking back on it, the work is staggering. I don't have words to properly express the feelings that wash over me when I see what I've done. Pride is the overriding one, but feelings of inadequacy creep in. Did I word that correctly? Do I really want to use that word? Does that even make sense?

Really, these things shouldn't matter. I over-analyze, that's how my brain works. The things that should matter in writing are grammar, spelling, and punctuation. If I have those, everything else should fall into place, right? We'll just have to see about that, because the journey I'm about to embark on, will test my mettle like nothing before.

Demons. We all have them. Fragments of past experience that you've never quite put to rest, ones that may plague you, or pain you, from time to time. The things you hoped would fade in time, yet they remain, etched upon your memory. We wrestle with these things, and people either have an outlet that stifles or puts them to rest, or we let them define who we are.

So many good things have happened to me in the last few months, between positive life decisions, and the positive people I've chosen to surround myself with. Here and now, I'm done with my demons. They've defined me for too long, led me down the wrong paths, and they've left me weak and vulnerable. I'm through. A friend said to me recently, that I need to see myself as others see me, rather than how I see myself. Sound advice that I need to put into practice.

This brings me to an announcement. I've started writing a memoir, about my experiences, what I believe has defined my life to this point, and how hiking and the outdoors have taken center stage. I don't know when it will be done, if it will be any good, or if I'll even be able to get it published. These things are unimportant. I'm doing it because I enjoy writing (not because I think I'm any good), and I think that maybe, just maybe, writing about my previous troubles will help me deal with them, where I haven't been able to thus far. It's going to be full of selfish introspection, likely some vulgarity, and attempts to delineate my present state of being.

You might like it, you might not. The cold reality of the situation is this: it's not for you. It's selfish, it's for me. My future is yet unwritten, the path is ahead of me, I need only follow it to see what lies beyond its horizon.

This week will be filled with rest, letting my ankle heal up a bit, before I get out to do more miles on the trails and peaks of New England. Off times will become more hectic, with writing taking up a bunch of free time as I struggle to figure out how to piece everything together.

Until next time...


  1. i love this! it is very encouraging for me. and i can't wait to read it!

    1. Thanks Cynthia! I'll be sure to post progress reports!

  2. Self doubt just means you are definitely a Real writer. Can't wait to read more. Stoked that you are in so much better of a place than you were when we first met.
    Can you say more about the ankle injury? Just curious. Glad you are resting it, rest is definitely the right choice if things aren't right in there. That's a drag though - heal soon.

    1. Better than being a talentless hack!

      The ankle was backlash from whacking it during the Presie Traverse. Starting Saturday at work, it began with aching, and progressed with occasional shooting pains. Sunday night, I went to the ER, and they did x-rays. No break, but said I probably bruised my medial malleolus, and gave me a friendly suggestion to stay off of it for the week. It's feeling better, but I won't hike until at least Wednesday of next week.

  3. Bill . . . not just saying this to "make nice". Your blog reports, IMHO, are in the top tier of well-written narratives.

    And I must say that it takes one to know one! I can definitely relate to your thoughts about "over-analyzing". I also ponder the same questions that you ask yourself, i.e. "Did I word that correctly? Do I really want to use that word? Does that even make sense?"

    Looking forward to reading your future postings,