57: forging a new trail

I detest small talk, particularly about the weather, so excuse me for this: the weather yesterday was absolutely beautiful, right?

Sunny, nearly cloudless skies; warm and breezy, but not too much so of either. Excellent.

And because of that, I was posed with a bit of a dilemma.

When left to my own devices, I tend to be a bit of a homebody. Home is comfortable. It’s easy. I don’t have to think too hard.

I’m always grateful, however, when a friend hits me up to get out of the house, or when I have a trip planned for the weekend or something. As comfortable as home is, I also tend to get stir-crazy.

Part of me simply doesn’t feel accomplished if I can’t get out of the house at least once.

Because typically work indoors during prime adventuring hours, and because we just endured the season which makes going outside generally insufferable, I didn’t want to pass up on seizing this weather on my day off.

Without any friends around to accompany me, it looked like I would have to force myself out of the house alone.

Despite trying to escape the comfort of home, I settled on a rather comfortable hike: Pole Steeple Trail at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, a trail which I’ve hiked more than any other at this point.

It was late in the afternoon, so I needed a short, nearby trail to maximize the daylight left.

And Pole Steeple is an excellent short hike, mind you. Steep enough to get your blood pumping, with an excellent view from a rocky outcropping at the top.

But as I ascended towards the summit, those stir-crazy feelings from home began to return.

I’d been here before. I’d basked in the late afternoon sun on those same rocks, gazed out over those same quietly rolling Pennsylvania hills. So had so many others.

Pole Steeple is a familiar trail. It’s comfortable. It’s easy.

Was I accomplishing anything by hiking it again? Or was I just going through the motions?

I know a lot of people my age, and thanks to social media I’m able to keep up with their lives pretty well.

Some of my peers have accepted “dream jobs.” Others are off traveling the world. Some have started entrepreneurial adventures and are grinding toward some grand goal of theirs.

I watch them all, and see them doing things, and feel as though I’m doing very little. As though I’m going through the motions. I don’t have any grand goal.

And if I stay where I’m comfortable, where it’s easy, I’m not going to figure it out.

I heard loud voices growing nearer from the trees below. The kind of annoyingly loud voices that come from teenage dudes showing off for girls. A group of at least four people was about to invade my solitude.

It was time to go, but I was still feeling unresolved. I didn’t want to carry those feelings home with me.

In a split decision, I decided to forego the trail. I didn’t want to cross paths with this group of rowdy kids, carefree and having fun while I was clouded with emotion.

So I delved deeper into the trees, away from the trail, to find a new way down.

I walked farther past the summit than I’d ever gone, searching for a safe way down the hill. I finally reached a point where I had no choice – I had to slowly descend a fairly steep, rocky slope.

My alternate “trail” down the slope.

By the time I reached the bottom, I was pretty disoriented. The sun was setting, which added a little urgency to my situation.

Suddenly, on my own and somewhat lost, I felt as though I had a mission. And, after stumbling around for a little while and heading generally westward to where I thought my car was, I got out of the woods.

It was a small, nearly insignificant victory. But I felt accomplished.

I’m moving away from home soon. I’ve accepted a job doing something I’ve never done before. I don’t know if I’ll like it that much, and I have no idea what it will teach me. I don’t think it’s a “dream job.”

It is, however, a step off the well-worn trail of my routine. It’s a new challenge to overcome, a new situation to adapt to, and I hope to learn a lot, even if I don’t love it.

I think that’s what I need right now.


For those who have followed idk anything, you probably noticed the long, unannounced hiatus. I don’t have a solid explanation for this, but obviously my “post once a day for a year” challenge didn’t quite pan out the way I’d planned.

That’s not to say I’m not going to keep trying. But after a certain point, I began to question the value of the blog in my daily life. Other activities took priority. I’m not upset with myself for not sticking to the challenge. I’m just not so sure that idk anything in its present form is what I want it to be right now.

In the future, I’d like to make some changes to the site, and re-assess its purpose. I’m constantly considering what types of posts I want to put out, whether idk anything should be about particular topics or aim at a particular audience.

idk yet, and idk anything, really.

Thanks for reading. Your support means a lot.

One Reply to “57: forging a new trail”

  1. Nicholas, where are you going and what’s the “not dream job” you have accepted? Am truly interested. You will undoubtedly learn SOMETHING–no matter what it is or where it is. Life is like that.


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