Most everyone (in the world) has no doubt heard of the Marie Kondo Movement whereby if something doesn’t spark joy in your household, your life, your relationships, your id, your chakra, etc. that you let it go.
Since this isn’t a lifestyle blog, or a cleaning blog, or even a self help blog, I’m not going to talk about how I managed to throw out a few things in my garage. What I am going to talk about is how in my period of non-wildness, how I see things differently about those that are most assuredly still wild about the outdoors.
As most of you know, and I don’t even really like mentioning this because people DM me and tell me that I’m fishing for sympathy (thanks, btws…) but I almost died a couple Februaries ago. I suffered (and survived) a fist size blood clot in my lung which the doctors said was the largest they’d ever seen in a healthy person. I’ve cataloged here how I feel like a part of me died in that ICU and that I emerged from it a different person. Different meaning different and probably equal parts worse and better. I know that therapy could likely help me through this, but I’m at heart… very stubborn. “It is known.”
The point of this post though is that over time, I’ve grown to realize that so much of what I see is people trying to be someone they are not. In their photos, whether it be on a hike, at work, or wherever, they look hollow and empty. I admit that I am torn on a weekly basis about knowing if I need the outdoors to be whole or rather if I deprive myself from it if I’m better for the deprivation.
The people that I admire the most in the outdoors realm are those that I am certain are being who they truly are. #spon does not qualify. All that we (I) want is to love something because I love it, not because I have to (to get paid) and because I want to. Bereft of obligation, need to prove something to someone, and the need to be seen as just and right.
So what it is that sparks joy for me?
Scrabble. I love it. It mos def sparks joy. Bird watching. Yep. Grandpa absolutely likes watching birds, feeding birds, chronicling the birds I’ve seen. Baseball cards. I love reading about them, looking at prices, dreaming about buying ones that most people can’t afford to buy. My Auburn sports obsession. Final Four bayyybeeeeeee… My dogs. My kids. My family.
I’m a nerd. Deal.
You are not hiker. You are not camper. You are not backpacker. You are not climber. You are not mountain biker. You are… John, and Sally, and Gertrude, and Alice. The trap of becoming what we do is deep, dark and has no escape hatch if you fall too far into it. Be who you really are.
It sparks joy.