Last time I posted one of these Blah Blah Blogs I was around the Halfway point of the Appalachian Trail back in Pennsylvania sometime in July. So much has changed since then. For starters I’m off the trail. Not because I finished or failed to finish but because I have other obligations that are going on that I must attend to before I go back to complete the last little section. I hiked a little over 2,000 total miles with a little under 200 miles left and spent 8 months on Trail where I saw every season change. I have been home now for a little over a week and although it feels great being home, it hasn’t been easy to adjust.
Since I came home the day before Thanksgiving I made the first couple days all about family. I saw my Nephew Cade for the very first time and my mother was in town for a few days so the timing was perfect. When I first seen my nephew Jasper, he seemed to be really interested in what I had done and wanted to see pictures and videos of what I had accomplished. When I summited Katahdin, I grabbed a few little rocks for my nephews, brothers, mother, roommates kids, roommate Jes, and his girlfriend Gabby. Jasper kept wanting to see where the rocks came from so I definitely had to show him. To be honest I was quite surprised. My brother Jordan is and will always be the coolest Uncle but it was great being the coolest Uncle even if it were just for the day. After family time I would visit my best friend Jeremy and then work my way towards the bar (Chubby Buddha) where some of my biggest supporters were. It was great seeing everybody but there are still others that I would like to see before I go back into Introvert Mode again. Some random girl at the bar kissed me one night and the best part about it was I didn’t have to go into talking about how I just came home from the AT and all that Blah Blah Blah. So that made me feel good. Didn’t pursue it though because it was a little early in the night and I wanted to make the night about seeing friends that I haven’t seen rather than some random drunk girl. Also it felt really great not trying. In fact I’m gonna do more of that.
Since I have been home I would say it’s been a little difficult at times trying to adjust. My journey has been different compared to others that have hiked the AT so I might share different feelings from others that have returned home from their journey after their treks. Regardless of our journeys though we all have some sort of Post Trail Depression (PTD). I think it’s still too soon for me to really experience much of that right now but I will say that I believe knowing I have a little more to complete might help me a little with it. But then again, who knows? Since I’ve been home I go in between feeling like I successfully Thru-Hiked and coming to the realization that I haven’t quite finished yet. I have no regrets on my hike because I have definitely done it my way but at the end of the day it does leave a bad taste in my mouth sitting here at home knowing I have just under 200 miles left.
It was never my intention to come home before I finished just like it wasn’t my intention to turn my hike into a flip flop. But just like everything else in life, you play the hand you are dealt. One of the many things I have learned on my hike is that life is like a game of Poker. You can’t make a Royal Flush if all you have is a pair of 2s right? All you can do is try to make your hand better and go for the win with what you got. In the beginning of my hike I was trying to make a Royal Flush out of a pair of 2s and it wasn’t happening. Once I stopped that and just started playing the hand I was dealt I started winning a lot more. In everyday life we have in our heads how we think things should be. That’s no different with hiking the Appalachian Trail and returning home from Trail. We all have these ideas and don’t know how to feel when things don’t go the way we thought that they would. The cold hard truth is while I was out there living my best life, people from home still lived their everyday lives. It didn’t stop. When I came home on a Wednesday before Thanksgiving, people still lived their lives. In fact there are plenty others that I would love to see but can’t right now because the show must go on.
One of the hardest things trying to grasp since coming home is the fact that no matter how many supporters I have and how intrigued others are that have followed my journey, not everyone really cares. I haven’t had anyone tell me that yet or anything but you don’t always have to have people tell you that. No matter how many people we inspire by walking with our own 2 feet 2,192 miles thru 14 states from Georgia to Maine I can promise you all that more people don’t really care what you have done than people that actually do care. Definitely not trying to be a downer here but that’s just the way society is.
As far as future plans and moving forward goes for me, I plan to finish the last section in a couple months. I still have to upload videos for my YouTube Channel Japheths Journey since I was slacking out there. I plan to make separate videos that are about talking about my journey. Possibly State-by-State along with other various topics. Definitely going back to the gym and staying fit. Already back to work although I might want to do something different than that restaurant life. Going on a cruise in just a couple weeks with some family. And most importantly, continue to be the best person that I can be while living the best life that I can possibly live. As far as hiking other trails in the future is concerned, I gotta finish the Appalachian Trail first but I will say this, The Champ Will Hike Again!!!!