I was daydreaming today and it was my soul sister Amanda who reminded me of a passion and a dream that began long ago. It began some three years ago as this blog got started. The first year was rocky and I left it unattended. I could never figure out how to start, and would rewrite to the point of insanity. So I left for a year, but the past two years have been solid, and I don’t think about it all that much anymore. I just write what comes to mind and what feels relevant at the time. I do the best I can with English being my second language and it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect, as long as it comes from the heart and has passion. I know that sometimes it’s a bit all over the place, and one might struggle to see what my blog is all about. Well, turns out that I am woman of many passions and can’t narrow it down to one single thing. I guess in a way there is a certain surprise factor since you never know what might hit you on any given day. It could be about my journey with Mom and Germany has been a huge contributor as to why the blog is jumping around a bit. It could be about the highlights and challenges of life, a bit of wisdom and life experiences, or inspiration. It could also be something about Mother Nature, the moon, my love for hiking and photography, or the ways of an empath and a soul that feels just a little too much sometimes. I could go on and probably name a few more such as my motorcycle, crafting, books or my love for travel and animals, but that by far wouldn’t encompass it all.
Amanda resurfaced my dream about writing a book today. I have come to know quite a few people by now who want to write a book or have, and it is truly amazing how many people share the same dream. We are recognizing that we have a voice, we’re taking a stand and want to be heard. We have something to share and something to say to the world. Perhaps a tough field to make your mark after so many people pursue it. I was told once that it all comes down to marketing. You can have a bestseller at your hands, but if nobody knows, you will share your treasure with family and friends and it will remain in small circles. Perhaps that’s ok, and it really depends on how big you want to go, how you envision the end result.
Amanda’s mentioning was the second this week that led back to my dream of a storyteller. A sign I take it, and a nudge to consider turning this dream into reality. Anything and everything is possible, perhaps the time is now. It’s all we ever have…the NOW. Except at this moment I am unsure of what I want to write about and perhaps some input would be appreciated. Having too many points of interest can be a hinderance as well, but the right path will reveal itself when the time comes. I’m still waiting for my clue.
I also got a message from my friend Kyle last week. We never met and some of the people closest to me with the most significant meaning are those that I have never met. Not all, but most. I came across Kyle through his dog Katana, a Shiba Inu with the nickname of Catfox. I would follow the adventures of Catfox who went hiking with her favorite human, Kyle on Instagram. I took solace in the pictures and the stories as they reminded me so much of my dog Nikki, a Shiba Inu mix who had recently passed away. It was a strange mixture of painful reminders, but also beautiful memories to see and read the stories. It was much in relation with my own experiences with Nikki and I felt more comfort then pain following the adventure. I needed something to hold on to at that time as I was heartbroken over my loss. To this day I never gotten over Nikki and I know that although nothing will ever fill the empty hole that was left behind, it will take another Shiba Inu to fill the void and the loneliness.
Somewhere along the lines, I learned that Kyle was a thru hiker which is a long distance hiker. Spending months on trail, with nothing more then your backpack, braving the elements with barely nothing and coming back a richer person then before, I was immediately inspired. Some people collect things and others collect moments and memories. Somehow he had managed to jump off the hamster wheel, and get away from the daily grind. He escaped the competition but entered a territory of camaraderie and friendship. He became his own boss, setting his own working hours. He didn’t report to anyone but himself, and it was a concept that appealed a great deal to me. I was so tired of the routine and of living but barely feeling alive. A passion was born and once I learned that we had so much more in common then Katana only, I friend requested Kyle’s personal page and “holy shit”, he accepted. I felt so grateful, and it was as if a celebrity had just taken time to notice little me. I kept starring at the screen almost in disbelief that he had accepted my friend request. I’m not even sure how I managed to send off the request the begin with. In all honesty I had little confidence that he would accept and notice, and I actually forgot about it, until that day when the confirmation popped up on the screen read that “You and Kyle are friends now”, or something like that. Kyle and Katana have been an inspiration ever since, but it wouldn’t stop there. A third member got added, but that didn’t come until later in the story.
Kyle was planning on hiking the Appalachian Trail, a 2200 mile long distance trek that starts at Springer Mountain in Georgia and ends at Mount Katahdin in Maine. He conditioned himself and Catfox who would come along for the entire trail. Finally the journey began and vicariously he took his fans and friends along by writing a blog that he created specifically for the adventure. Those blog entries later turned into the book called “Lost on the Appalachian Trail” by Kyle Rohrig. You can get it on Amazon and all proceeds support his adventures, and allows him to live the life style he sees fit for himself, while encouraging us to take the leap and follow our dreams. Sometimes it takes getting lost in order to find ourselves and this is such a story.
That book not only reinforced my dream of becoming a writer, but it also instilled the desire of becoming a thru hiker. I had a new bucket list goal and I was so Gung Ho, planning on how I could escape the hamster wheel, how I could make it all happen financially. Kyle stayed in touch throughout, still to this day, checking in ever so often and inspiring me to take he leap sooner then later. I’m sure I would have actually done it had the RA not forced me to my knees. I never had the heart to succumb to it or to tell him because I just don’t think that this is how my story ends and it definitely is no excuse. It’s not over yet, although I have never recovered completely since that last bout, and I know that my current condition is not to the point of knowing if I could physically manage. What hasn’t died is the dream of actually setting out some day in the near future and just seeing how far I can manage. It was also when a new dream was born and I modified the existing one just a little. Plans of converting a school bus and traveling the lands in a way that would better accommodate my chronic illness came to mind. A tiny home on wheels and that dream is very much alive these days. Hike as much as I can while still enjoying the same feeling of freedom and a unconventional life. I don’t want to work for luxuries and a home that keeps me away all day so I can afford it. I don’t want convention to suck the life right out of me. I want to live vs. just being alive. I want to collect moments that touch my heart and don’t impress status. I have no one to impress these days and I can honestly say “Been there done that, not my future”. I don’t care about acceptance or understanding. I’m living my life for myself and not for anyone else. It doesn’t have to fit you, but it has to fit me. I don’t think I ever really cared about it, but like so many I fell into the American dream of what society deemed as successful. I thought that’s just how it was until I realized I was living someone else’s dream. I missed so much but I have been awake, and I’m dreaming in whole new ways, and in part thanks to Kyle.
I don’t think Kyle ever anticipated the success of the book and that it would take off the way it did. He merely wanted to record his journey and it just so happened that he wrote his journal entries into a book. It was told in a language as if he was talking to me or you. Funny and witty, encouraging and inspiring, there were plenty of moments when suspense mounted, while others would leave you literally laughing out loud. He has many gifts and all he touches and meets, I’m sure will never forget what a wonderful person he is. Kyle learned what a huge demand the world had for authenticity, for something real, no bullshit, just plain good fun and language that would speak to all. Kyle woke a desire in his readers to dare to dream, to find the courage to make a difference and reconsider the things that truly matter.
The book became a best seller and his fan base has grown in huge numbers, by no surprise. He leaves me in awe, and with the desire to write and convey my journey as a storyteller. To bring something to the table that people find relatable, something that brightens their day and something that inspires to hold on, whatever challenges they might face. To live your days to the fullest and to follow your dreams, whatever they are. I want to make a difference in someone’s day and if I can do so with one person, then it is one person that is in better shape as they were before hand. Kyle has achieved what I am still day-dreaming about, and if I touch people in only a fraction of the way then he has reached people, then I could never ask for anything more. Maybe one day it will all come to play.
In other news Kyle has also finished the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) another long distance trek this year and has written two more books since the Appalachian. If you can and care to support him while treating yourself to an exceptional read, you can find Kyle on Facebook, Amazon or at Boundlessroamad.com.
I am sorry this is late and you may have missed a personal inscribed and paw printed copy of the book, but perhaps there will be another chance if that is the way you choose to go. Thank you for all and any support.