stress & peace

Who’s ever heard of being stressed out because you don’t have enough going on?

Welcome to the insides of my head every day, fervently researching new hiking or camping spots within a few hours of Nashville, constantly heckling my friends to join me on day trips, overnight camping, and backpacking endeavors (I mostly fail at these attempts). Not a day goes by where I don’t think about being somewhere else.

IMG_5018playing in waterfalls in Short Springs Natural Area

And for some strange reason, it stresses me out not to be able to do those things. My mind gets a clenched up and I find myself day dreaming of the sweat soaked supposedly “breathable” clothes and achy back that comes along with hauling a backpack with everything you need for 3 days. And why? Why, does this make me feel so fulfilled? When I am immersed in nature, hiking, camping, and the like, I forget about what I think matters and realize what actually matters.

But, I don’t think I can put what actually matters into words, its more of a feeling, and you have to feel it to know what I mean.

IMG_3714Smoky Mountains outside of Gatlinburg, TN

Therein lies the stress. I’m stressed because I don’t know how to find peace when I’m not outside. I desperately search for it in quiet evenings at home drinking tea and reading, in journaling, in writing, in watching Parks and Rec on Netflix for the bazillionith time. And, I have yet to be able to replicate the peace that I find when I’m out there.

So, what I try to work on daily is capturing those moments of peace, so that I can perhaps not be so stressed out when I’m in “regular life”. Because regular life is stressful and not peaceful and hard and everything that being immersed in nature is not. But, this “regular life” is also a reality that I have to live with well, regularly. So, I’ll have to keep pressing on and working hard to not work hard, to learn to be peaceful in the midst of anxiety.

IMG_2806Sunrise at Percy Priest Lake


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