There are about a million reasons why completing an entire summer in Yellowstone just wasn’t in the stars for me, but if you refer back to my most recent post at the end of July, you’ll see one of the many problems I was experiencing with my day-to-day existence in the park. Originally, I planned to stay in Yellowstone through the end of the official tourist season, until September 26th; however, things have changed. I stayed for 64 of the 112 days I had originally planned on. Those 64 days were tough though, and they felt like more than just two months.
I think one of the major snags that I hit was when I reached my “half way point”, when the number of days ahead of me were equal to the number of days behind me. Mentally, I couldn’t figure out a way to coach myself into thinking that the length of time I had just experienced would have to go by all over again before I would be able to escape the place I found myself so stuck in. And so, as you may have guessed, I left. I quit, packed up my backpack, and got into the first car that was heading east, with two friends who were headed back to college in Michigan.
As difficult as it is to cut an adventure short, and as much as I don’t like to break a contract or burn bridges, I knew that I had to leave Yellowstone. There was just no way I was going to be able to stomach another two months in the conditions that I found myself in. While in the thick of this summer, I started to wonder if I was ever going to be able to experience joy again. That thought was a little scary, so I set off to see if it was indeed too late to experience it again. Don’t worry–it’s not. I’m already so much happier than I was for the first two months of the summer.
And so, after driving clear across the country, practically on a whim, and after hanging out in New York City with my sister for a week, I’ve settled down at the Omega Institute for Holistic Education in upstate New York. It is here that I am working just a few hours a week to pay my dues, living in a tent, and taking multiple classes a week on meditation, yoga, tai chi, and general enlightenment. This is what the next five weeks of my life will look like, instead of seating cranky tourists and throwing burgers and fries at them.
I’ve taken my leap of faith. I trusted that there was something better for me in the months of August and September and, so far, I think I was right to make this move. I’ve never left an adventure early before, but now I get to have a whole different experience, and I don’t have to dread getting out of bed in the morning.
Here we go…