Twenty Six : Pleasantly Distracted

I don’t feel guilty anymore. I’m not sure when that changed, honestly, but it did. I don’t feel guilty that I talked to the cute girl, or that I gave her my number, or flirted with her. I don’t feel guilty at all. I smiled today, and everyone knew why.

It’s strange how I don’t feel guilty, and the less I feel guilty the less I feel tied to Grace. Caught somewhere between hope and hopeless romanticism. It’s strange how life can throw you so many curve balls, how your plans and ideas and direction can change completely in an instant – just because of something said, an action taken, a person met. It’s strange that just a month ago I was so dead set on doing the PCT but am now thinking of staying in Portland for an extra year, saving more money, seeing what happens. I’m thinking about my career, my resume.

The Salmonberry Corridor, I tell myself, that’s what you should do this summer to tide you over. Hike all the small trails you can for an extra year. See what happens, see how far you can get now that you’re finally on your own, an adult. Make more money, set yourself up, make more friends. Enjoy simply existing for a while now that the turmoil of constantly trying to flee is over.

Either way saving money is a must. To stay in Portland I’ll need money to find a new place to live in nine months. To leave for the PCT will require the same actions in twelve months.

For now I raise my glass of water and bowl of ramen and propose a toast.

To being broke, alone, and happy.


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