In September and October 2016 I did the 1000km Bibbulmun Track Solo, North-South. Here’s a few excerpts from my journal.
Well, this was the final day. I didn’t actually write anything in my journal on this day. It was just done.
I got up early, (still windy!) packed up and headed off. It was another beautiful, sunny, clear morning. Beautiful walk up in the sand dunes for the first bit, then down to the harbour. Rang Mum and Dad as the fam wanted to come in and meet me at the end. They’d only just woken up so it was a mad rush for them to make it in!
I acutally got to experience a couple of little corners of Albany that I’d never walked through before, which was cool. The track showed me some new parts of the town I grew up in (around the old mills and at the bottom of Mt Melville). As I walked along Grey St I saw Dad and Liam drive past. I got to the bottom of Parade St and actually had to get the guidebook out! Of course I knew where the end was, I just wanted to make sure I walked the proper way there.
Rachel and Dad and Liam were all there when I got to the official end, and Mum and Grandma and Uncle Ross were just pulling up. It was actually a little overwhelming having such a big welcoming party! But fun. I had the usual sensation of being next to ‘normal’ people, and becoming aware of how dirty and sweaty and smelly I was. Which was completely normal in the bush. Every time you get to town you’re all of a sudden like, whoops, I’m feral.
I signed the last track register book, then we walked up to Gourmandise cafe and I had a (good!) soy latte and a croissant. Second breakfast. And then, back to reality.
It feels like something is happening. A really deep, seismic shift. The deep cores of worthlessness, hopelessness, self disgust and despair are being aired, opened, examined. In a new light – the light of feminism. There’s a part of me unfurling – it feels inevitable and un-doable. And as though it’s going to change a bunch of stuff. There’s a crack, and I can finally let the light in. I don’t need to hide anymore. I can actually be me. Embody myself. All of myself. With love and acceptance. And without blame or judgement. If feels like I might finally be able to love myself. For reals. I’m kind of shy and excited to meet this fresh new self who’s emerging, like a soft pink new born. Like when you’re a kid and you see your favourite cousin who you haven’t seen for ages, for a few moments you feel shy and don’t make eye contact. Then one of says ‘you want to go play?’ and then you hold hands and go off together, inseparable until your parents force you into two separate cars at the end of the night. It’s like that, meeting this new, soft and shiny self. Only this time we get to hold hands and run off together, and not leave in two cars. This time we stay and play together. Right now though, I’m still at the shy part. I’m anticipating it’s going to be fun but I’m not yet brave enough to offer my hand. It also feels good not rushing it. I can sense the unfurling, but there’s no shortcut or speeding it up. It’s going to bloom in it’s own time. Somehow I feel certain that it’s happening though. Even though there’s not that much evidence yet, something feels different.
Each day, each km, each step – like gentle waves, each washing away another fine layer of silt, to eventually reveal what beauty lay beneath the whole time – beauty that was concealed. Me.