I have been in a very busy period with university and classes and papers and exams, and my mindset has been a little off. Not bad, necessarily, and I don’t find myself trapped in a spiral of negativity. Yet something has been missing lately, and I feel like everything has been so dull, like the world has been in various shades of grey instead of in vibrant colours. The sense of living life to the fullest has been lacking for a little too long and instead been replaced with the wake up – deal with responsibilities – go to bed routine. I sit around waiting for my next big adventure, holding my breath and listening to the clock tick, but I think I have been on the side-line of my own life a little too long. I have grown tired of waiting, of waking up and spending my entire day counting the hours until night comes. A little fearful of what the result of such a dull routine would be and worried I would be stuck forever, I decided to change it up. I went in to take an exam on a dreadful Monday morning, expecting I would spend the week pondering how it went and whether I would pass and what I did right and what went wrong, but instead I lifted the weight off my own shoulders. I dropped everything I had in my hands, packed up any equipment within my reach and put on Dorian`s harness. I stepped out the door with my hiking boots on and a backpack that wasn`t quite heavy enough, taking in a deep breath and feeling it hitch on its way too my lungs. For a split-second I wondered what I was doing and where I was going, realizing that this perhaps was a little crazy and a strange form of running away from real life. While others my age went out to celebrate (or mourn) the exam, I fled into the woods. I climbed hills and followed less-travelled trails, getting as far I could with my own feet as my only limit. It is perhaps a little strange and a little wild and a little crazy how I put my tent up amongst the trees, just above the lake, and rolled out an old sleeping bag not designed for the winter. I realize then that the tent hasn`t been used in a long time and needs replacing because there is no way it will keep me dry or warm, but I do not care. That old, beaten up thing will give me what I need nonetheless, and right now the quality or appearance doesn`t matter. It is when I finally sit down and wrap a blanket around myself and my dog and hold him close to my chest, so close I can feel his heartbeat, that I realize I can finally breathe again. None of those shallow, slightly stressed out breaths, but the ones where your lungs fill up with fresh air. For a brief moment, I think that this is not me, I am not that girl that backpacks and camps out in the wild, sitting in front of a camp fire with woollen socks and sandals. And yet something about the warmth of the fire and the peace amongst the wild feels so right, and I know this is exactly where I am supposed to be. And then the sun sets and its cold but not necessarily in a bad way, just a slight bitter sting to the skin, and I realize I am just a girl who wants to feel alive. 

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