There are so many things to learn about life, lessons that a long trail can teach you. Since I've been home, something in my attitude is changed a little bit. My outlook on life is the same, but maybe just a bit wiser.
Here are some of the things I learned on my little foray into the wilderness:
Choose your friends wisely. Pick people who make you really happy, that share your interests, and that you truly enjoy being with. Spend time with people who like to push themselves further than they've gone before. Their character will rub off on your character. Make sure they are worthy of your respect and your time. And if you're going to be hiking for a really long time in the woods, make sure you can laugh with them, talk to them for hours, and that they can keep a good attitude in what could otherwise be a miserable situation.
You'll never really get to know people if you only socialize on Facebook. There's a real life out there, folks, and real people. People that are worth getting to know on a much deeper level than social media will allow.
If you're starting to feel a little too confident, go for a hike. Mother Nature will put you right back in your place.
There is so much life to live. You aren't going to run out of amazing things to do. Don't waste your time on things that don't matter in the end. Life is short. Live it.
Take care of your body. If you do, it will take you anywhere you want to go. And don't take it for granted. You never know what will happen in the future.
Stop hating your body because it isn't perfect. Fix what you can, accept what you can't, but it's capable of incredible things. Respect it for all that it is and that it does for you.
Go NOW. Don't wait. When the opportunity comes, jump on it. It might not be a perfect time, you might have more "important" things to do. But they'll likely wait. Opportunity doesn't always wait. If it's something you want to do, go do it.
You are strong enough to do anything, if it's something you really want to do. Find your limits, acknowledge them, and push past them. Then do it again. You'll gain muscle and character.
Even the little mundane moments (of the hike or in life) are part of the journey. Appreciate them. They're getting you where you want to go.
And if you're not going where you want to go, turn around and start going there.
Don't rush. You might miss something incredible.
Never underestimate people. Never write them off because they have different ideas than you. Talk to them, listen to them, appreciate their thoughts and experiences. They have wisdom you don't. You don't have to change your beliefs, but you can learn a few things by listening.
Don't waste your time being afraid of things you can't see. They might not even be there. Keep an eye out, stay aware, but don't let an opportunity pass you by because you're afraid of something you're probably just imagining anyway.
Don't forget how small you really are. Stand on a mountain and look around at the vastness of the world. Let it comfort you and terrify you at the same time. It'll keep you humble.
Stop and appreciate really small things. They are what add beauty and value to that immense world you a part of.
If it sounds crazy, it's probably worth doing -- and it's the doing that makes you just a little bit wiser than you were before.