a hope design

The Awesome Adventures of Nature (Geek) Girl

In Being Healthy, Life is Random, Relationships on August 14, 2011 at 9:40 am
Photo of camp stove with computer

There is something so RIGHT about this picture!

I am sitting here doing something I have always wanted to do…posting a blog entry while camping. To save money, I canceled our home internet and signed up for a limited use MiFi from Cellular South, so my internet goes with me wherever I go. Yay me!

People ask me often, “Alana, why do you go camping alone?” Well, I guess that answer deserves its own post.

Some of you know that I grew up with a borderline personality, bi-polar mother. Those of you who have lived closely with a person with behavioral and mental problems understand what this entails. This is not the time to explain all that, so if you don’t know what I’m talking about, do a Google search on borderline personality disorder and bi-polar disorder. There you will see textbook examples of my mother.

What is relevant to this story is the fact that I grew up around a lot of negativity and depression. Life was out to get my mother–and so was every person on the planet. I grew up hearing this, and I didn’t like it. I started thinking that if I didn’t like it, then probably no one wanted to hear MY problems either. In a way, I was right, and it made me pretty self-sufficient and independent. I became a really good listener.

As an adult, I’ve read self-help books, paid for counseling and learned how to be more even keeled. Yes, we do sometimes need someone to talk over our problems with. Getting advice from a level-headed, uninvolved party is wise. However, we shouldn’t go overboard and continually unload on friends. That is what we are doing when every conversation with a friend is regaling a torrent of negative. We are unloading. We all have problems in our lives. Life is inherently problematic and filled with “shit.” There are negative situations around every corner. We have to unload this “shit” somehow…and often…or we become my mother–overwhelmed and paralyzed by life and unable to get out from under it. So, what is the best way to unload without giving a friend your burden to carry?

See, this is the good part. YOU get to decide your best way to unload without dumping on your friends. For some people, putting faith in God and giving the cares to Him in prayer works best. This works for a lot of people. Some people find relief in hitting the gym or going for a run. It is good to have multiple ways to bring positive thoughts back into your mind. Thoughts are very powerful forces in our lives. I would dare say that thoughts may be the MOST powerful force in a human’s life. Everything we are as a human being is in our thoughts–our faith, our spirituality, our emotions, our personalities. There is a passage in the book The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett that speaks of the power of thoughts. I would quote it here, but I’m out in the woods, and the book is back home. (I should download it on my Kobo app and search it on my Galaxy S. Geez, where did I misplace my Geek Card!?!) I will edit the post and add the quote later. It’s good.

One of my methods of letting it all go is getting out in nature and listening to the cicadas, birds, crickets, frogs and squirrels sing away my sorrows. Right now the crows and cicadas are in harmony. That crow is bitching about how tight my budget is and about how frustrating work can be at times. The lazy occasional percolating harumph of the coffee pot is patting my back and telling me everything is really good where it matters most. I hiked a trail late yesterday afternoon, once the tent was set up, and exchanged a few worrisome thoughts for a couple of wild muscadines hanging from a vine. I am just happy to let them deal with it so I can get on with just enjoying being me.

The best part about getting rid of your “shit” on your own is this: people will like to be around you if you keep yourself positive and full of good thoughts. Have you ever read the book How Full is Your Bucket?? I have heard a lot of good things about this book. It’s on my list of books to read. The concept outlined in the book is that we affect those around us in our daily interactions, whether they are positive or negative. How many of you have gone through a drive-through and been affected by the cashier’s frown, attitude and negative energy? She had an empty bucket. Now what about the opposite? Have you ever come across a stranger who had a smile for no reason and a kind word? Her bucket was full. How did those two situations make you feel? Which do you want to be to your fellow man? I want to have a full bucket. I want to start a viral smile along my path. I want to do my part to heal the world–tikkun olam. That feels waaaaaay better to me than the alternative.

Is the alone part necessary? No, it is not. That is just where I am in my life right now. My girlfriends don’t really enjoy nature like I do, and I do not have a husband or boyfriend with whom I can share these unwind times. I hope that is a part of my future. I really do. However, not having a partner is no reason to wait to do the things I enjoy. Not having a partner is also no reason to be negative about my life. After all, my friends have been just a Facebook post away this whole weekend. I’ve chronicled my trip via photo uploads from my cell phone.

No nature geek girl is an island.

  1. Thoughts are “as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live.”

    What a great post! I can see exactly where you are standing in life, where you are going, and what you are looking at. Very nice, indeed.


    Thanks for sharing.


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