Meridian State Park | September 2021
Two Week Travels | California

Ramblings | Healing

Nature has played a huge role in my mental health. As I finally sought help for my anxiety, I simultaneously became VERY intentional about our traveling. It was sporadic before - maybe going on a couple of weekend camping trips a year and one big trip. Now, I need a weekend of camping pretty much every month in order to feel sane, to feel productive, to feel restored. I've stopped feeling guilty about taking time off of work. It is my leave and I have earned it and, by using it, I end up being a better employee. Feeling rested and relaxed increases my productivity. It boosts my mood. It is now part of my arsenal of tools in my journey towards acceptance, love, dreams, and cultivating the life I want. 

Nature has always been a place where I could go to be myself. Nature doesn't judge. Nature doesn't care if you're fat or thin or pretty or dumb or seriously un-funny or boring or the most amazing person in the world. Nature doesn't give a shit. It doesn't expect anything of you, nor does it care about your status. Out here, we are all equal. Nature is like an old friend who is always there to make you feel better, even if its just sitting with you while you process something. An old friend that, no matter how long it has been since you've spent time together, it feels like no time has passed at all and you pick right back up where you left off. 

It's a pretty powerful thing to feel like you are truly embracing everything about yourself. You don't have to pretend, you don't need filters, you don't need perfection or flawlessness. You are raw. You are open. You are vulnerable. You are beautiful, magnificent, unabashedly YOU. It took me a really long time to feel okay with that. Nature led the way, along with Wellbutrin (heyoooo). With each step on each trail, my confidence climbed right there along with me. With every landscape I gazed on, I gained appreciation. Appreciation of every single one, each different from the others. Not less or more beautiful, not better or worse, just different. Just like us humans. 

"Healing doesn't happen in a straight line" is a lyric that really struck a chord with me recently (thanks Kacey Musgraves). I felt it in my bones. To me, that wandering path of healing is a path I walk on every time I am out on a trail. Step by step, day by day. Walk your path and keep going, even if you fall and get mud all over yourself. 

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