A lot of us have this monster inside us. It tells us we need to impress, have it together, look good, get the right haircut, the perfect body, the nicest car, the sweetest setup.
When we're out in public the monster growls at us. It tells that us we just said something stupid...or our lives are a mess...or they're hotter...and younger...and tanner.
I have the monster sometimes. He's a bitch.
I see him laugh at me when someone takes my picture and I look goofy. I hear him criticize me when I look at a mirror and see my little belly. I feel his eyes judge as I walk past anonymous people on the trail, even though I don't know them and will assuredly never see them again.
But what difference does it make? What difference do they make. What difference does the monster make?
He makes us self-conscious. He stresses us out. He takes us out of the present moment and throws us into doubt.
One thing that I've started to appreciate about being alone is that I'm in charge. Everything I do on a given day - if I sleep-in or wake up early...if I take one too many hikes or just laze at my camp...if I watch every nerd movie at the National Parks visitors center, and I always do, trust - that is all up to me.
So on this trip, who cares what some random person on the trail thinks of me?
Being alone is helping me let it go. I can wear what I want, look how I want, do what I want, be whoever I want. They don't know the real me. So what difference does it make? Monster be damned.
Back in the real world, I could use more of this. Less vanity and more being me. Less concern of what I could be doing, or could have done, and more actual doing.
Less foolishness and more mindfulness.