The question I’ve received with the highest frequency over the last few months is certainly, “What’s next?” With graduating looming just a mere 25 days away, everyone is curious as to what the next big move is. Surely I won’t be staying in the parking lot forever?
Well friends, come May 6th, Blanche and I will be setting out on a cross-country adventure from Nashville, TN to Coloma, CA, where I will be spending the summer working as a river guide for OARS.
This has basically been my dream for the past two years, but I’ve been finding it almost impossible to be excited. I honestly think that’s because my brain hasn’t fully worked through the fact that I’m leaving Nashville for an undetermined length of time. The last time I “left” Nashville on an adventure like this was the summer of 2015, where I basically lived out of my jeep and traversed the American West. I knew a week in that I was going to come home to Nashville.
This time, I’m not quite sure. I’ll be gone until October, and a lot can happen between now and then. Needless to say, I’m cherishing these final days here, and I’m trying to stay as “in the moment” as possible, which is definitely proving to be more difficult than I thought, with my entire future spreading out in front of me, and my tendency to think months ahead.
I feel like I’m in the wrong for not being more excited about this upcoming summer, but the truth of the matter is that I am stressed the fuck out. I’m stressed about the end of the semester, the mounting number of projects and papers and assignments and due dates that are rapidly approaching. I’m stressed about leaving literally everything I’ve known these last 3 years. I’m stressed about this job, and about the thought of not being good enough. I’m stressed that no one will like me there. I’m stressed that Blanche might break down somewhere along the way. I’m stressed that I only have 5 days to get to California from Nashville. I’m stressed that this portion of my life is coming to a close, after being in and out of college for the last 6 years. I’m. Stressed.
I know that it won’t be like this forever. That there are ebbs and flows to everything. Seasons always change, regardless of whether we are ready for it or not. But for right now, my sweet baby angels, I am stressed.
There’s a video that Yeti put out a while ago that has done wonders for easing my anxiety about OARS. I’m not kidding I’ve watched it at least 150 times over the course of my lifetime. It made my dad cry, so that’s usually a good sign. Every time I start to feel a little over my head, I watch this video, and I think of why I wanted this job in the first place. I love the river, and I am supposed to be living my life outdoors. This is my passion, and I know that in just a few weeks time it’s all going to feel worth it.
Check the video out here. Hopefully it’ll give you a glimpse of why I feel the way I do, and who knows? Maybe it’ll light a spark in you to go out and find your own adventure, on or off the water.