2010 has been a hard year for me. It's also been a brilliant year, especially since I finished graduate school in May. I've done at least four backpacking trips since then that easily make the lifetime top ten list.
There's a connection between the two. I left grad school feeling ambivalent. For all of April and May I was in full survial mode, and graduated feeling like I had rolled across the finish line in a heap, gravel down my shirt and under my skin. I would have prefered a more orderly, controlled end to the affair, but do give myself credit for making it at all.
I needed some centering after that, and my solo traverse of the Thorofare in May delivered. I was able to go into a summer internship, more adventures, and the job hunt with a much better demeanor. It took a while, but aside from a season of amazing trips, that calm has paid off. I (finally!) got a full time position last week, and will be moving a few hours north to Kalispell, Montana soon. It promises to be a great job at a great organization, and I'll have Glacier NP and the Bob at my doorstep.
I put this video together yesterday, as a way to review the year, organize my thoughts, and put some of the doubt and regret behind me. It was a nicely cathartic process.
Backpacking kept me mentally and physically healthy this year, and for that I am thankful.