Before/After

So, there ends my enjoyable month of weekend trips. I’m trying not to think about the term ahead where my schoolwork picks up and internship starts and take up everyday of the week. I’m thankful for what I had and still have (mentally), and only wish I were paid so the summer can be opened up.

Why I was attracted to the outdoors:

-I will be as cool and adventurous as people who go outside!

-breathtaking scenery

-to escape everyday life

-imagined feeling of strength and agency (But too lazy to exercise, so no good)

-love learning new skills

-mainly, snowboarding: wanting to go somewhere with more snow + more wild but not actually wild

Why the outdoors really attracted me, after a month of weekend trips:

-Why it’s actually fun: none of the reasons above reign at all!! People are cool, but not by city measurements; they’re cool because they’re equally welcoming

Changes:

-loving food that is simple to prepare (alright: by virtue of being cheap, I always did)

-being so grateful for a chair

-hating useless clothing, and clothing made of cotton in general

-switching from wondering if you are cool enough for someone you admire to asking yourself if you are cool enough for you. if YES, continue journey. If NO, change your mindset until you are so you a) have the best time ever and b) have the willpower to finish the journey

-gaining packing skills (I pack my school backpack in a new light now) and weighing everything in your hand before putting it in your bag

– loving bungee cords

– really, really hating stores: There is zero gratification from exchanging a valuable resource (money) for something else (that you didn’t have to physically work for) It even feels bad because of the fact that you are freely “giving away” a resource (and not to help someone else). In the outdoors, giving away something is usually a selfless act that also beckons a helpful return: balance. Plus, the economy is restricted to your immediate people whom you all know, instead of a faceless corporation.

-being refreshed by a lack of ads (and being desensitized to seeing ads: you learn to just not be bombarded by them and tune them out as irrelevant details)

-constantly reading the landscape. So much reading. So much fun.

-always bringing food or gear to share. It’s good karma.

-relying on yourself

-teamwork

-not judging anyone

-quite honestly, I rarely notice the landscape for any more than a few glimpses. If you notice the landscape too long, then the trip is too easy for you. If you don’t notice it at all, it was too hard and dial back a little if you can and have fun! Didn’t you come for the sights?? I can’t figure out this conundrum. Sometimes the slopes are so beautiful I want to stop snowboarding mid run +feel the urge to hike but then didn’t I come to snowboard?!

-physically feeling anger, jealousy, dread and hopelessness are energy wasting and useless feelings. I can’t say how many times I easily overcame those feelings because I just needed to feel like I was invincible.

-I’m not as restless. Energy isn’t really a function of how much you have but how you are able to regulate it.

Afterthoughts:
-I think being outside makes me a better person, for others and myself

-On the other hand I find sitting inside unbearable, but I’m nowhere near fit enough to be pursuing the outdoors every weekend without wrecking myself. So forcing myself to stay inside and plain having to say no to trips because of your calendar where everyday is blocked off for school or work is painful in ways you didn’t feel before.

-I still prefer to have tasted the apple than not know that feeling at all

-You pretty much have to suffer to have that kind of fun. Trips that are too easy just aren’t fun because the fun part is thinking city-atypical thoughts and clearing your brain

-I love non fiction a lot more and nearly hate fiction. Fiction is one of those things that requires accessing energy-sucking emotions

-I sort of hate school, but not because of school but so much as the lack of time to connect more classmates than just one or two + talk about life and the politeness that obfuscates students’ real personality  in discussion.

-I question why we don’t talk to strangers more, because you generally talk to everybody you pass or camp near (so why not have an hour long conversation with the person sitting beside you on the bus??) Every day feels like a missed opportunity to connect with another person

-I want to literally own nothing but gear and some great writing. However, I need to dress and feed myself and live somewhere. Oops.

-I don’t understand why you would want to be in the city without taking  a trip once a month and I want everybody I love to join me.

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