I've been feeling stressed and anxious of late. I recognise it started when I went up to Mt Oakleigh with the goal of also doing the Pelion West Traverse in November. Long story short, the issue is this: I have set myself this goal, to try to climb all the Abels before my 25th birthday. As of now, it is still just an achievable goal (if the weather doesn't do anything curly). However, I am becoming increasingly more critical of myself, and the reasons I am doing it. It is not a competition; I wanted to do it for the pure enjoyment of bushwalking, while at the same time achieving something that I personally think is pretty cool. I have begun to question if I am doing it for the 'right' reasons. It shames me to admit, but on recent occasion, I have secretly thought it would be an easy decision to make if I had for instance, a broken leg. I wouldn't be able to continue as planned.
So you may ask, "Why not just take a little longer, put it on the back-burner for a while?" And that is a very good point. So here are my two options.
1.) Take it easy for a while. Don't stress about trying to achieve the goal if it isn't making me happy in the moment. If I do this, however, I know I will regret it in the long run. I know I will feel upset with myself for not pushing through to try to successfully do what I set out to do. So this option would be short term respite, but possible long term regret.
2.) Go hell for leather now, and finish the Abels by the original time I set myself. This option wold possibly mean I wouldn't enjoy myself as much, which is far from the original reason I set out to climb all these 158 magnificent mountains. However, I know I would feel immense satisfaction at doing something I really set my mind to.
The other day I went to Headspace to talk to someone impartial to the whole situation. The lady I saw gave me some good advise on how to be more mindful when I am out walking. This would help in those situations where I felt like I was rushing for no sake, and let me ground myself in the environment. I was grateful for this, because I always found bushwalking to be somewhat meditative, allowing my mind to wander and not be caught up on anything. Whereas now, it is always thinking about the next mission, or planning logistics, or worrying about the weather etc. She also said to make a decision on my values, rather than how I want to feel right now (this was in response to the two options stated above).
So I am stuck on the fence at the moment. I don't want to give it all up right now, especially as I feel like I've put my life on hold and wholly dedicated myself to this for the last 13 months. Will I try to achieve the original goal? I don't know. Hopefully. Every adventurer faced adversity in some respect, maybe this is mine. Will I climb all the Abels? One way or another, I will. Will I get lose my passion for bushwalking? No, I don't believe it will negatively effect my love of a good walk. Many of the walks I have done since first noticing the issue I have loved! i.e. The Eldons, Mt Anne.
I realise this is a drop in the ocean of an issue compared to what some people go through with their mental health. I have always stood for talking openly about issues stemmed from depression and anxiety, so I am writing this post as much to alert people to what is going on in my head, as well as to open a discussion. Brains a weird.
|Life's a beach.|