Giving Ourselves Grace and Breathing, Georgia

For us, camp hosting is a unique time in our adventure when we are stationary for a big chunk of time. This 3-month stay in north Georgia far surpasses any length of time we have stayed in one place since we began this adventure. It also means we are stationary long enough for family to visit, and Will and I get to go on actual dates…just us!

When Will’s parents visited us, we took the opportunity to tackle the longest and most strenuous hike in the park. An 8-mile trail that we knew would put us to the test. And boy did it—physically, mentally, emotionally.

The trail itself was a challenge, but our greatest challenge came through the tough conversations we had along the way. Conversations that we both needed. Conversations that helped us define where we want to go and what our vision is for our future. Conversations that made this hike feel like a turning point in our adventure, in our relationship, in everything.

I have struggled more with my mental health over the past few months and having the time and space to think, talk, and reflect (also, cry, there was a lot of crying) in the hours we were walking helped me gain clarity on what I needed to do. I needed a reset. I needed to give myself grace. I needed to call my doctor.

Upon returning from our hike, I immediately made a doctor’s appointment to try medication again and took some time off work. As a freelancer, this is one of the hardest decisions to make, as no work means no pay. And when you already feel like you are letting your family down subjecting them to your mental health struggles, it stings even more when the burden is financial, too. But after over a year without any significant time off, it was clear that needed to change.

This single hike in the woods, without the distractions of a toddler and dog, where we could talk freely and had the time to really listen, really feel, will be a hike we look back on that set our future in motion.

One of the outcomes of the hike is me giving myself grace with the blog to post less frequently. I still want to share our adventures and keep a record of this amazing adventure, but I want to do it without pressuring myself with a schedule. I would love to get back to my twice-weekly posts and frequent social media updates, but we will see what the future holds.

When we started the hike, there was a moment early on when neither of us was really feeling it. We were tired, we were sore, we were cold. Had I been alone, I 100% would have turned back or taken a shortcut back home, and I am inclined to say Will would have done the same. But we pushed through together. Had we not, it is impossible to know if or when we would have gotten to the point we reached 7 miles down the trail.

And that point we reached…it was only just a starting point for what the future holds.

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