walking into my future…

We must be willing to give up the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

—- Joseph Campbell
I’m a little lost in this moment of my life, so it’s one step at a time.

Right now, I am at a crossroads.

I would not describe it as a particularly “blissful” crossroads. Definitely not my idea, but it is what it is.

For those of you who don’t know, here’s a recap. I returned to Saint Paul after walking over 2,000 miles in New Zealand to the news that my job was eliminated.

I realize it was risky to take a leave-of-absence in hopes of refreshing my soul and gaining perspective on life believing I’d become an even better version of myself and in turn more successful at my career. My chosen path is unconventional and, I believe, misunderstood. I should point out I did not take the decision lightly and believed I had permission – and support – to go. But that was not the case and now, a chapter in my life is over. It’s a stark reminder that nothing in life is really secure.

The sooner we realize this, the sooner we hold the key to happiness in our hands.

Richard has been my rock over these past few months, but after enduring days and weeks, and then months of alternating fear, outrage, sorrow and panic, he gently suggested I get right back on the trail.

So, oddly enough, this moment of devastating loss is actually a gift of opportunity to quite literally “step into my future.” Next week, I’ll head to Seattle and begin walking south on the Pacific Crest Trail.

There is something a little reckless about this decision. Shouldn’t she be looking for a job right now? You might ask. Didn’t she just return from another hike? This seems a bit selfish and indulgent. It’s irresponsible. All true. All valid. Those voices are a running dialogue in my head.

And yet, I think that right now – before arthritis totally takes over my body and before work totally takes over my time and energy – might very well be the perfect time.

Besides, I’m in pretty good backpacking shape. 🙂

Walking touches all my senses, and makes me feel grounded.

Walking has always been my balm, the place that I get centered and grow. I want this walk to help me heal and help me move forward. But more important, I want to discover what I want to do next. Does Blissful have “legs” – so to speak? Does my voice still matter? Is my storytelling compelling enough? Is there a lesson in all this that can maybe help others?

The answers to those questions might very well point the way to my life’s work.

The spiritual writer Charles Swindoll said,

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

I believe this with all my heart. What I don’t control is who likes me or likes my work or thinks I’m valuable enough to keep on a staff. Contrast that with what I do control – my attitude and what I decide to make out of what I’m given.

That is powerful.

The best therapy out there is to go for a walk.

On this trip I will continue to write and make audio pieces. I love doing that because it brings you along with me. And it means a lot to share. You buoy my spirits, you make me laugh and you keep me real.

My hike diary will remain free as I write every day just as I did when I was on the Te Araroa.

I will also create a series of rich and compelling “visual-audio” essays that invite you deeper into this unfolding journey of the heart. My visual-audio essays will be an exclusive for patrons only who subscribe at Patreon.

It’s a pretty straightforward transaction – you keep me alive and well while I walk, support my art and help me walk into my future.

I provide you with an exclusive experience of hard-to-reach, heart-stoppingly-beautiful, and soulful places along with collected sounds and my personal narration. It’s like a podcast on steroids!

Nothing would give me more pleasure than to partner with you in this next chapter of my life.

Walk on and have fun!
Anita Hike and Blissful 🐥👣🎒

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Published by alison young

Alison Young is the Blissful Hiker, a voice artist and sometime saunterer. 📣🐥👣🎒

Reader Comments

  1. Alison, I am so sad, reading this. For me – because I’m losing your voice on my radio and at SPCO concert broadcasts. Even more so, for You – sad that you need to make difficult decisions and leave behind a career that you were so good at – but BRAVO! Onward!
    Count me inspired.
    An Alison Young FAN

    1. oh, Karen, this is such a lovely note. Thank you!! I miss my work on air so much but hopefully there is a place for me and my voice 🐥 Walking heals, that’s for sure. ♥️

  2. Hi, Alison, Since you’ll be walking through Washington, Oregon, and California–assuming you’re doing the whole shebang–consider listening to the classical radio stations via the internet on your hike, allclassical.org, KQAQ in Portland, coming to mind immediately, after I learned of it while visiting friends and family. And, why not apply for a DJ job while you’re at it?!! Gotta tell ya, I find myself listening to KQAQ more than KSJN since you left that great 10:00-1:00 time-slot at the latter. Oh, it’s just an on-a-lark suggestion, but, damn, I–and I bet many of the rest of us–miss your voice, both literally and figuratively. And no matter what, godspeed, Alison Young.

    1. thank you, my friend! I miss being on air and all my friends so much. I am applying to every place that has an opening. Hopefully something will work out soon! Thank you for your support!! 🐥👣🎒♥️

  3. Alison….you know what I think. To be true to me, I cannot fund your next adventure. I will miss your blogs. Again, you are brilliant just as you are today. Good luck to you….Zola

    1. Zola, my blogs are still here and free! If you want to come along, I would love it. I know not everyone can support, and that’s why I am sharing them freely. ♥️

  4. Oh Alison I had no idea that you were going through some big changes in your life but it sounds as though you are forging ahead with positivity and strength. You have such a talent with your video clips with informative scripting and beautiful sounds. You are also a wonderful photographer. Wishing you all the best in your next chapter!! All our love from down under xxx

    1. thank you, Susie! It has been a tough few months but finding my footing. Miss all of you so much!! 🐥👣🎒♥️♥️♥️

  5. I’m definitely with you all the way on this! I look forward to having my morning coffee with you again. I’ve missed you!
    Have you considered the job as a reader for audio books? I listen to them while I mosaic, and I think you’d be great at it.
    Good luck with everything and enjoy that trek! There shouldn’t be a lot of mud!

    1. thank you so much, Karen!! ♥️♥️♥️ I am absolutely moving in that direction with a home studio. I do love to read aloud!! See you in the trail! 🐥👣🎒

  6. This spring as I listened to classical music in the morning, the voice would tell me to tune in at 10:00 am for Alison Young. And when I would, you wouldn’t be there. Now I understand why. Thanks for your hard work on the trail. Thanks for making my radio listening so enjoyable.

    1. Hi Tom and thank YOU for this beautiful note! I really miss it a lot but hoping to use my voice in other ways. I really hope you’ll ‘tune in!’ Keep in touch. 🐥👣🎒 alison

  7. I think that I am happy that you have decided to do another trek into the wild of the west coast, but I am still sad to think that MPR has lost/is losing your wonderful voice! Perhaps you will get back your career in a different way that you have not thought of yet! I will follow your blogs because they bring such excitement and wonder to me! I wish I could paint words in speech and text like you! But I really admire your spirit and willingness to take on new ventures. I am sorry that at this time of our lives, we cannot support you with a monthly gift, but we will continue to read with awe your words on the trail and I will rejoice and commiserate with you as you go forth! You have an amazing spirit and a need to “keep walking”! All my best as you begin your new adventure! I will happily await your blogs!

    1. thank you so much, my dear! it means a great deal to me that you are coming with me on this very literal step into my future! I know my voice will be used somewhere, there is a path for me! Please stay close. 🐥👣🎒♥️♥️♥️

  8. Alison,

    Wondering about your life post NZ…we arrived as you and Richard left…did the Routeburn Tramp, kayaked Milford and presented climate action in Wanaka, Wellington and Auckland with our growing Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) movement, then off to Sabah, North Borneo and a reunion, after 46 years, with my former Peace Corps students and teachers…amazing returning and made me realize the importance of staying in touch with your life….past present and future.

    You are a remarkable story teller and telling the story of how our planet is changing and how people are responding are key to awakening humanity to “there is no planet B”

    I invite you on this next venture to help people tell their stories about how they are responding to our changing world and if you want your blog shared with our story telling team at CCL let me know….we are building a bi partisan conversation for action with our legislation HR 763 the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

    Your honesty and vulnerability is exactly what’s needed in our world today to bring people together and to slow down, take a walk and have a conversation.

    Our blog paulandmindy.com wants your coaching on how to use video and stories to inspire people to action on climate solutions….when are you leaving and how far are to planning to trek on the PCT??….knowing you the whole trail is well w/i reach…have a blast.

    1. thank you, Paul! I would be thrilled if you shared my blog with your group. Thank you so much. I try to write with an authentic voice mostly because I know we all experience our ‘trail’ wherever we are. I will walk as far as it takes to get my groove back. I have Richard’s blessing! 😇 Let’s touch base on audio pieces. You can send a PM and we can connect. Thanks again! blissful hugs, alison

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