I have not sat down to write in two months, and boy does it feel good to get back into things. But I have been gone for good reason- I spent the past two months in the most wonderful place on Earth, working my butt off.
I have spoken of Moose River Outpost many-a-time before on Adventurously Organic. I was lucky enough to be able to return as staff this summer, after being gone for three years. Returning was almost surreal. As my car rolled on Route 201 (the only road that goes through the region of Northwestern Maine in which I found myself), I smiled at the small town’s charm, simplicity, and stability. And after the three mile driveway from 201 to the actual campground, I realized that I was entering territory that, although physically familiar, I had never occupied emotionally before.
You see, the last time I was at camp, I was a fifteen year old battling through an eating disorder. Except I did not know it was an eating disorder. I had not told anyone I was anorexic. I did not even know I was anorexic. And so, June came and I went to camp with the intention of finding some healing at the one place in the world I totally trusted.
After that summer, I came home resolved to change. And for eight months, the only change was drastic weight loss, increased restriction, and distance from those who loved me.
After three months of recovery, two years of academic and emotional growth, and several tree paintings, I had recognized and become open about my eating disorder.
When I thought about returning to camp, I never intended for it to be some victorious journey of reflection on all of the challenges I overcame in High School. However, I found that the support I relied on as a camper still existed as a staff member. On the first week of work, I met someone who had a nearly identical story to mine. By the second week, I was becoming more and more open with my past and current body image struggles with some of the people in the kitchen that I was working in.
At the same time, none of us had constant access to technology, internet, or media. The separation from society was completely refreshing. I found myself having better conversations about both the past and the future. Of course, this is the summer between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college. Personally, I find academia wonderfully interesting, and have always been excited for college. Being able to take seven weeks off from studying, college planning, and even writing has made me really eager to return to the structured work of university.
And now, at 9:30, as I sit writing the first blog post of the summer, I commit these past two months to wonderful memory. This blog has welcomed summer by saying goodbye to it. Because, as much as I wish this weren’t true, summer has to end. Some of us have research projects to attend to, and cannot spend the rest of the year canoeing at 6 AM or watching children learn about their spiritual and environmental lives. And as much as I wish I could return to the place that shaped who I am, I have to say goodbye to it for the next few months.
And so do you. The fact is that outside is going to get colder, days are going to get shorter, and work will get tougher. And if you’re anything like me, that idea scares the crap out of you. But tonight, I want to resolve that I won’t let the light of the summer days leave me as it leaves the sky. And if you’re anything like me, I hope you’ll try that resolution as well.
Onto better, brighter, and more challenging adventures!