Each time I get to the depths of professional despair, as I begin plotting a manifestation of my dissatisfaction, as the call of the outdoors becomes stronger and stronger, as I want to throw out my disdain for quasi-urban luxury and reload vanlife, something interesting happens.
Literally. Something at work becomes interesting.
I’m lucky enough to be employed in space that is exclusive, lenient and creative. It’s not satisfying, but it is very engaging. And that’s the rub. Satisfaction is a macro emotion, engagement is a microscopic one.
When I’m getting ready to pull the plug, I know exactly what I want to do. To some extent this act of writing is a manifestation of that. As I become more engaged, that clarify fades. Slowly.
And with it does my fitness level. My intensity of emotion for travel and the outdoors.
But other things decline as well. Like the frequency of panic attacks.
Of course, there are yet more confounders to consider. The first is the season. It’s hard to be content when the sun sets before five and rises after seven. It’s hard to be always psyched when its cold and dark. Biologically, we’re driven inside to think about life, to read, to huddle, to avoid getting hypothermic. But that also means the trails are wide open and logistically easy.
Summer 100 Miler season is also a tremendous psychological burden. The depression that can sneak in under the guise of recovery is real, sparsely documented and lasting.
So, while taking a momentary pause from big endeavors to enjoy the community at the original Trail Running Film Festival this weekend, I think it’s worth a bit of inward investigation in purpose.