Last week I found myself on another solo hike. Over the last couple years my confidence in hiking alone has gone down, something my parents will surely appreciate. I’ve noticed that while I still very much enjoy going alone (as in without any personal friends), I enjoy having other people around.
It makes me feel safer, it makes me feel less isolated, and it makes me feel connected.
What I love most about hiking alone is that I don’t have to engage in conversations. In my day to day life I talk to people a lot, and this can be quite draining. I relish in the moments of silence. I’ve always been the one that friends come to when they need to vent, and I enjoy being that support for people, but sometimes it can be too much.
I’m burned out on being the ear for people to blab at, and aside from my mom and hired professionals I don’t really know how to be the one venting to others. I have empathy for most situations I get myself into, but my meter of open mental space has been pushed past the full line.
I’ve started to put in the work it takes to expand my circle of people. I want people in my life that ask me how I am doing, how I am feeling, and genuinely want to understand what I am experiencing. Relationships are so important to our existence, but only if they are of good quality. Think about the last time you had a conversation with a good friend that left you feeling warm inside.
Those are what we need in life.
I have no problem ditching people that suck more than they give, and I’ve gotten quite good at it over the years. My tolerance for this negativity is nearly nonexistent. There are a handful of people that have slipped through the cracks though, and it’s taken a myriad of health problems for me to realize who needs to stay and who needs to go.
I simply do not have the extra energy it takes for these kinds of people.
When I opened my computer to write this hike recap I did not intend for it to go this way. I don’t often think about what I am going to write, I just go with whatever my fingers start typing. I think the bottom line for what I’m trying to say is that it’s easy to get sucked into black hole friendships. It’s not always clear, but I challenge you to become more aligned with your gut feelings.
As for me, I won’t be feeling bad when I decline hiking with a friend and want to go alone. Not that I ever really do…
I’ve hiked this trail a handful of times – it’s close (in relation to other places I go, but this one is still an hour and a half drive away) it’s short (4 miles RT and takes me about 2 hrs), and it’s a butt burner (just under 2k eleveation for just under 2 miles up.) Despite having been here multiple times I hadn’t seen the paragliders take off, until this trip.
I don’t know if this is something I could do, but it was sure fun watching other people. The weather was great, bouncing between sun and clouds, with the perfect amount of wind for these brave souls. Some guys were going up multiple times carrying their packs on their back. Talk about motivation to get into shape.
Although it would be terrifying to take that jump off the edge, I can only imagine the solitary feelings that comes with floating alone in the sky.
Being alone in the woods gives me time to process my thoughts, and hot damn there can be a lot at times. I’ve recently discovered I have ADD, which makes a whole heap of sense for some of my tendencies and traits. I’m always working hard to quiet my mind, and solo hiking is one of my outlets for this. And meditation – a constant work in progress.
In sum, it’s not necessarily personal if you want to be alone. Don’t feel bad about turning down invites, telling someone you’d rather be alone, or anything of this nature. When a roaring fire starts to die we casually add more fuel. This allows a steady balanced burn with minimal work. If the fire is complete burned out it takes a lot more energy to get it started again. People are the same. Don’t burn yourself out.
Also, yes – the trail is seriously called Poo Poo Point. Imagine the irony if this were the trail I was on when this happened.
Q: Would you paraglide?
59 thoughts on “Poo Poo Point – A Place to Purge your Thoughts”
kathy @ more coffee, less talky
100% yes in surrounding yourself with a supportive group of people and fuck those energy-sucking bitches; they can suck a fat one. There’s a girl in our circle of friends who does that ALL THE TIME so I don’t really talk to her and keep my distance from her when we’re in a group setting. Ain’t nobody got time for that shit.
NOOOOO time. Hard pass.
Some people are just toxic. First thing this morning I had to sidestep such a person. I did not want to start my day by having to deal with all that crap.
Solitude can exist even in the middle of a crowd. Blissful solitude.
Enjoy your day.
Good for you!! People are ridiculous at times.
Paragliding has a rather unfortunate downside so I’m staying on solid ground. Also I have a fear of heights.
The rest of your post hits very close to home. In the last two years I have rediscovered alone time. You can be alone in a baseball stadium. You can chose to interact with others without and social pressure.
A simple way to separate the wheat from the chaff in your social life was given by Carl Jung: “You are what you do. Not what you say you do.” Who shows up to help you when the chips are down? Who can’t be bothered?
Love that quote, thank you for sharing! I find great joy being alone in public places.
Everyday I have to be an extrovert but sometimes I just would like to be an introvert. I guess there is a switch I have that I can be both when called for.
It’s good to have both! I have both too, and sometimes have to push the extrovert button a little harder. 🙂
Kajsa's and Cecilia's world.
You are brave you. When hike and alone are in the same sentence I can`t help by thinking about the american horror movies I`ve seen. You know “alone in the woods and no one to hear you scream”.
Ahhhaha, I’ve had a few moments where those thoughts have crossed my mind. 😉
I can totally relate. I think as you get older you have less tolerance for people and their BS. I agree with cutting ties with negative people/friends. I’ve done that and didn’t feel bad one bit. Like you, I’m always looking for possible friendships, but both people have to tango. If it’s one-sided, it’s not going to work! I also find that age doesn’t matter anymore, either. I meet and make friends with people who are much older or younger now. It all depends on your common interest and not necessarily your age. People my age are married with kids or have other interests. It’s also hard because I’m an introvert. Btw, the best friendships are the ones where you can hang out and not say a peep and enjoy each other’s company!
YES, I am finding that I am getting along with a few 19 year old right now. I NEVER thought that would happen. They are both SO mature though. It’s crazy. I’ve always had friendships that are much older, and still most are, but I’m open to it all! I lovee the silent hangout friendships. HA.
Yes, I totally get along with teenagers! Hence, the reason for me writing novels for young adults now. 🙂
Rachael @ Catch Me If You Can
i like to say its my life and i choose who’s in it and i choose to not have drama filled negative haters in it. its a tough decision but when i ditched the bad baggage my life was so much less complicated! good for you for doing what you need to that will allow you to get back to a healthy state mentally! PS—HELL NO i cannot para sail. although i totally want to my stomach will not allow me to get suspended at heights like that. planes are ok anything else, stomach evacuation 😛
Amen girl! No room for negative drama.
When I first read the title of your blog post, that previous coffee episode was the first thing that came to mind… And I thought this post might be about something similar! 🙈 I’ve always been a quality over quantity person when it comes to friendships, and I think as a result, I haven’t had many issues letting go of friendships that were no longer providing quality. I’ve also found that the quality friendships require the least amount of effort: we can go months (or even years — normally accidentally though!) without talking, and we can pick up exactly where we left off, as if only a day or two had passed. I think that’s the sign that our soul has really connected with someone else’s soul… Because our sense of time means almost nothing to the soul, which tends to live in “deep time.” Anyway… Lots of babbling from me today! 🙊 But I’ll always be here as a listening ear (or reading eyeballs, if it’s by text) if you ever need to vent to someone other than your mom! ♡♡
Oh my goodness I love the connection you made with our souls. Such a perfect way to put it, and it’s so true. I love your comments, they’re never babbles they always make me smile!
Good post. I stopped using Facebook last year and reflected on the “friends” on there and have since been culling many of those links to hopefully use it to keep in touch only with those I want to keep in touch with and not those who want to use it as somewhere to insult others or share inane nonsense. It is great having deeper and more meaningful two-way friendships which are enriching either enabled by the internet or face to face…but you don’t get many of those in a lifetime I would suggest. Alone time is most definitely a good thing to escape all of the noise.
Oh Facebook. I’m very inactive on there and have just a handful of friends because of the excess drama it brings. It’s a great tool to connect, but very abused. Sounds like you’ve got a perfect handle on it.
It is hard to break off friendships…in some ways worse on Facebook because of the potential links that others would have through someone else…but then I figured that if someone was that bothered they might notice anyway and I can just tell them at the time. You are so right about excess drama though! Who needs it? Hence the alone time! 😄
Love, love love this. And love those handgliders, I would be willing to give that a try if you promised to take pictures. – Kat
I promise, let’s go. 😂
Heather Patton at Afternoon Glow
I can see Poo Poo Point from my bedroom window! It’s fun to wake up early and watch the paragliders from the safety of my own bed. 🙂
I get what you mean about friendships. While it’s amazing to have a huge group of people who enjoy you and want to spend tons of time with you, it can throw life off balance. Finding time to be alone can be just as important and finding good friends to chat with. 🙂
I love that you’re so close! I need to come have coffee with you sometime. 👋🏻
I’ve jumped out of planes and hangglided…so yes. Energy vampires are VERY draining and I’ve had to walk away from “nice” people who suck the life out of me in 5 minutes. I’m torn right now because I know I “should” try to make more friends but I’m liking being alone more and more. There must be a happy medium somewhere. I’ve been accused of having ADHD but not sure if I really do. I like to think that those with ADD and ADHD just have super quick minds! 😉
When you get to be my age, you care less and less about hurting other people’s feelings in terms of turning things down. Go for it! No is powerful!
Hahaha I’m already there! No fucks.
I love being alone big time. I do think being more social will benefit me, but it’s gotta be the right person!
I think my problem is that I never feel bad about turning things down, and am very antisocial on my days off. My job is very social and when I am with people I love talking etc, but on my days off…I basically want to run, eat and not use my vocal cords ahha. I’m actually looking to do more of what you do. I want to start going to a park or trail and exploring all weekend and bring a tent (any suggestions for single person tents?) and sleep there that night. It sounds dreamy 🙂
Omg I love this! REI has great single tents that you can check out, I don’t personally have one so I’d start there. I truthfully don’t feel bad being antisocial either. It’s a recharge. I want to come camp with you! I’d be quiet. Haha
That’s so cool that the paragliders happened to be there at the same time you were! It sounds it would be such a thrilling experience!
Right!? It was cool to watch…but even just watching the process of them getting the right wind blow was intense. I don’t know how they landed though.
Paragliding — yes, possibly! I’ve only seen men paraglide, it would be cool to add some female representation to the sport. HARD pass on sky diving though.
Also trying to step up my solo hiking and trail running game. 🙂 Beautiful photos!
HAAH. Hard pass to it all. I keep saying I will skydive…we shall see if I ever do.
Paragliding, no thanks. No floating from a piece of fabric in the sky for me.
Love your perspective on friendships/personal relationships. I’m working hard on keeping the balance of social/solo maintained. I’ve somehow got this badass collection of various amazing women who I love spending time with and feel more energized and uplifted than drained when I see them. But I also love a good night home alone with my plants and an embroidery project or five. And a solo hike (or hike with my neighbors’ dog who likes to tag along with me/protects me from predators) is my favorite way to rejuvenate! If I realize I’m feeling anxious or just generally unlike myself, I try to head for the woods asap. Depending on what Minnesota’s weather will allow.
You are my spirit animal. I SO need a strong group of women in my life. Those friendships that energize are so valuable. Love this comment.
Well, if you look around your blog… I’d say you’ve got lots of great gals (and fellas too). Maybe not folks that can come for a hike regularly… But I see lots of love for you in this space.
SO true, which is why I ADORE this community. If only you all lived next door! 😫
Agreed!!! If only we could teleport and be able to hike for an afternoon then go back into hermit-town.
I’m the friend everyone vents to also but I have a hard time letting negative people go as I beat myself up about hurting people’s feelings or upsetting them! I need to be more like you. I like being alone too it’s therapeutic! I could never paraglide I’m terrified of heights!
We can only take so much!
GiGi Eats Celebrities
I’ve been paragliding. Have I ever told you this? I have pictures to prove that my scaredy-ass has done it before.
And um, you know what I am going to say about this post, because you are my twin and we talk all the live-long day… #TwinLyfe – LOL! (I am always here to listen to you – uh duh)
Hahaaa you NEVER TOLD ME THAT.
Rach @ This Italian Family
We watched people paragliding while we were in Switzerland and it was incredible! I had absolutely zero desire to do it myself, though, haha!
I think you are so right about being honest with ourselves about the types of friendships we have. It’s really easy for me to get sucked into relationships where I do most of the giving so I’ve tried to be a lot better about that in recent years. 🙂
Oh man, I just might have done it if I were in Switzerland.
I would love to go paragliding. It looks amazing and I think it would be awesome to feel like you’re flying.
Amen to ridding ourselves of toxic people. Those aren’t real friends and they shouldn’t be in your circle. Love you.
Love YOU! Can you move here please??
It so true we need to make the necessary time for ourselves and value ourselves in that way. I’m getting better at saying no but I’m still working on it. I’ll give paragliding a maybe to probably not haha. My mind at the sight of the Poo Poo title also did go to the friendly ferns post by the way. Very memorable 🙂
The things I’m memorable for…they make me smile. 🙂
maybe it’s called Poo Poo point cuz people poo if they get scared right before they jump off the edge?! just a theory…. LOL! (gross) I had the chance to sky dive once and it was amazing and something I never thought I would do – but I doubt I would do it again…once was quite enough! LOL! 🙂 PS – totally get what u mean about hiking solo vs hiking w/ ppl – there’s a time for both! 🙂
HAHAAA, that is a genius theory. I sometimes think I want to skydive, butttt who knows if I ever actually will.
Yes- I would Paraglide. I’ve gotten good at getting rid of toxic friends, too. They take too much effort for NO or bad return.
AMEN SISTA! I wish you were closer.
Mee, too girl, meeeee tooooooo!
Wow, that would be so cool to see the paragliders take off! There is a place near us that is very popular for paragliders. I’ve always watched them from afar and have been mesmerized. I think it would be awesome, but I would probably be too chicken to ever do it.
I think a solo hike sounds so peaceful and rejuvenating. I enjoy running by myself, so I’m sure I would love hiking….as long as a wild animal or some weirdo doesn’t get me. Eeeek.
I would surely be too chicken too, but it does look amazing! Hiking alone is the best. HA.
Yes to all of this, Brittany! You hit the nail on the head. It’s okay to be alone, and it’s okay to not have the energy for negativity. Sometimes we just need to process stuff on our own, and that doesn’t mean we’re lonely or anti-social. We all have different thresholds of socializing!
Gorgeous pictures, as always 🙂
I’m glad you understand. 🙂