Hello there everyone,
This blog will be a showing of the little fixes I get to feed my addiction to the outdoors, and an ever-growing exploration of my work as a trail guide and outdoor educator. I thought about writing a long post explaining how I’d reached the point where I dropped my pursuit of working in the political field, but I decided that I’d just show you guys the essay I wrote that got me into the school I’ll be attending in April. Take care, and get outside when you can.
“I have always had the desire to be outdoors. I was homeschooled all the way up until college, and because of this I could finish my work much sooner than most of my friends who attended school. In that free time I’d grab a book and head to a local park. The books I read were always in a similar vein. In grade school I devoured Jack London’s northern adventure stories, and as I got older leaned towards Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. These authors inspired me to wander, and I spend any free time I have during breaks heading to new places I haven’t seen yet and camping or hiking. In college I studied political science, and enjoyed it Immensely. However, one course in particular spent some time talking about the formation of America’s National Parks. Through this I was introduced to Theodore Roosevelt’s friend and associate, John Muir. His passion for the outdoors struck a certain chord with me, and the more I looked into his work, the more I felt like that was the sort of work I’d like to end up doing, even on a much smaller scale. The peace he described feeling while lost in the wilds of the Sierra are the closest words to my heart, because he put into prose a sense of belonging I’ve only ever felt has been staring out into the woods and knowing deep in my bones that I was were I should be. My eventual goal now, is to work for the national parks service in some shape or form.
I spent my last year of college working as the event coordinator for (former) Missouri Gov. Bob Holden. While the work we did was rewarding, it wasn’t in a branch of public service I would like to do for the rest of my life. I have respect for people who can handle sixty hour work weeks,and constant stress. However there were aspects of the work that I couldn’t bring myself to admire. There was no comradeship, and everyone involved in that side of politics always seemed to be trying to get more than out of people than they had to put in. I am unfortunately not suited for that mindset, and it brought out a selfishness and constant distrust of people that I know would only grow worse if I stayed involved. I do not blame anyone but myself for letting that happen or regret the time that I spent there, unfortunately could only see the damage it caused in retrospect.
The truth is that I lost my sense of self while I was in that world. I found myself acting selfishly towards the people around me and in doing so lost the sense of empathy I pride myself on. It is hard to trust anyone, especially yourself when most of your days are spent trying to figure out if something you are told is honest, or a misrepresentation of the facts in order to gain more than you give. Luckily, I have rediscovered my center and am working on bringing myself back towards it. I look forward to doing work that is honest again and more in keeping with my own personal values. I can think of nothing more suited to myself than to spend my days learning about the outdoors by being in them, and in turn passing on that knowledge to people who crave it the same way I do. I’m hoping that this course will supply me with that hands on skill set that I can apply to my career goals. I have spent so much of my life enjoying trails and campsites built by other people, and I’d like to help build some for other people to enjoy. I believe this course will help me do so. Thank you for considering me as a candidate for this scholarship, and I cannot wait to begin this experience come spring. In keeping with the theme of rediscovering the self that has come out as I write this I’d like to end with a quote from John Muir that encapsulates the center that I had lost, and am now on the path back towards.”
“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”