About Everything You Ever Taught Me
In 2020 the world went to hell in a handbag. This isn’t exactly headline news – although it was then. I went from perfectly locatable in the Cotswolds to utterly baffled in the American wilderness when I embarked on a quest to walk from Mexico to Canada for reasons that escape me. It was most probably nothing more dramatic than a mid-life crisis.
Perhaps I should have come ‘home’ but I lived in the deluded optimism the pandemic would all be over by the summer. Besides, I’d given up my home: shoving my belongings into storage, persuaded someone to look after my cat and someone else to look after my car. I did think about returning but each time I popped into civilisation to top up my supplies, I discovered a new reason to run for the hills. So ‘home’ became a tent: a mere flimsy bit of fabric to protect me from every conceivable terror that exists in the wilderness – bears, rattlesnakes, deserts, avalanches and other human beings. Most dangerous of all was the racket inside my head.
Everything you ever taught me is my journey, relying on nothing other than the twelve steps of recovery, teaching me to take it one day at a time, one step at a time, and one bloody ginormous mountain at a time as I staggered my way along the Pacific Crest Trail. As mid-life crises go, I remain utterly clueless why mine took me from my sofa to the Canadian border via the fridge, powered only by two chubby legs and a fat arse.
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Female. Aged 46. Average height. Large rear. In the midst of a mid-life crisis. It probably began when I was about four. Hoping I’ll overcome it one day. Can’t afford a Ferrari, and I can’t be bothered with an affair. I bought a quad-bike instead but then I sold that when I buggered off to America for six months to live in the wilderness.
Got into the recovery gig aged 41, almost by accident. So I’m now *that* boring divorcee, teetotaller, vegetarian and cat owner that absolutely no one wants to invite to their dinner parties.
Anyway, I wrote a book about walking from Mexico to Canada, whilst trying to stay sane during a pandemic. Please buy it – the cat is also in the throes of a mid-life crisis, as well as an existential one – probably since he was born. Vet bills are costly.