I actually didn't realize that my first Utah post went up, so I'm sorry I haven't updated since. Too much has happened since that post for me to write it all out now. My friend Carolyn tried to make a list of all the problems we've had this summer and it ran three pages long. Interpersonal drama, Life Flights in Wilderness areas, boy scout rescues, and mass sicknesses aside though, I've had a great summer. Life-changing in fact. Everything changes your life, but this summer has been Big. Being out West has made me think a lot about my life, and I think I have a better idea of what I need to do in order to feel happy and fulfilled. I need to stop saying I'm not an outdoorsy person for one thing, and I need to develop some skills that will help me survive my outdoorsiness. This isn't going to be my last Big Outdoors Summer. I don't want it to be. I want to be an SCA high school crew leader the summer after next, before I go into the Peace Corps., and I want to get my red card (Somehow. I'm not sure how to get it, or where they offer certification in Western New York or Western Mass for that matter. I'm also not sure where I'm going to get the money for the course, but I'll work that out. It'll more than pay for itself if I get to work on a fire crew for a summer, especially if I'm stationed somewhere sweet.) and work a fire crew. (I don't want to be a fire jumper though, Mum, so you should stop telling people that I do.)
Anyway, since I've come to this conclusion, that I am going to have an outdoorsy life, I'm going to have to make one obvious change, and probably others later on. Rugby isn't going to be the center of my life anymore. I love rugby, and I'm going to keep playing, but it's so consuming. I'm going to have to make room for other things. It's a good thing really, going on the Smith Outdoors backpacking trips and whatnot will introduce me to a new set of people.
A few years ago when I first got a decent backpack and sleepingbag, EGA commented on how now I was committed to living an outdoorsy life, since I had put so much money into it. That isn't going to change I guess. The boys on my crew are sometimes delightful, (sometimes felons too, but that's another story) but their major downfall is that they would rather talk about gear than anything. They LOVE gear talk, even though it is cruelly boring. Now I wish I had been listening though, because I'm going to need at least some gear, now that I've made this decision. I'm going to become one of those people that spends hours and hours at REI- my crewmates have corrupted me. I laughed, earlier this summer when everyone was talking about their boots (my entire crew, minus me, and the ever-sensible Ellen, has the same boots. Beautiful boots. These boots.) and how they spent three hundred dollars on them. That would pay for my books for a semester! And yet here I am. It's sad in a way. It's like running though, it should be the cheapest hobby out there- going into the wilderness! You shouldn't need to spend anything!- but it's actually pretty expensive. I need a new sleepingbag too, all the loft has gone out of mine. That can wait awhile, but I'm still browsing jobs as I think about this.
Financial woes aside, I hope I've learned some good sense this summer too. I tend to not regret mistakes once the initial sting has gone, and view them as Learning Experiences, but I need to not forget why it was a mistake. I think I've done it this time though, because I'm not sure that I haven't left a huge permanent scar that'll serve as a reminder. Without going into details, I seem to have developed an unfortunate taste for redneck. It's going to make dating in Massachusetts really unfortunate if it proves to be a lingering thing, but I'm not viewing myself as single right now, in the sense that you're only unemployed if you're seeking employment. So I'm going to focus on other things until I'm positive I can handle...I don't even know, the complications that come with trying to get close to someone. Maybe I'll be ready in a year or five.
I can't imagine going back to Smith, but I'm really excited too. I ended a chapter last night, and even though it was an interesting one, I'm excited for what's next.