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I’m writing a memoir called “HAPPY TRAILS! (And Other Lies I Tell Myself).” It’s about failed transformation, illustrated by my repeated attempts to evolve from a moody, dysfunctional, underachieving misfit to a well-adjusted, goal-oriented badass, all through long-distance hiking. My journey from underachiever to sometimes-achiever is a tale full of humor and honesty and challenges the popular notion that if you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything. The truth is, some people fail no matter how hard they try. Sometimes failing while striving is the best outcome one can expect. And maybe that’s okay.

 

“Amy was 29 years old, overweight, suffering from mental illness, and felt stuck in her life. One day she discovered the Pacific Crest Trail online and had an idea. She wondered if she could use long-distance hiking to reprogram herself from a worry-filled, socially anxious, self-sabotaging, emotionally fragile chaos machine to a self-sufficient, emotionally regulated person capable of creating a fully actualized life. So began her long quest to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, with varying results and several missteps along the way.

Changing oneself within the framework of mental illness, armed only with the survival coping skills born from childhood trauma is not easy, and conventional success is not guaranteed. 

Amy’s journey from underachiever to sometimes-achiever is a tale full of humor and honesty and challenges the popular notion that self-worth is only found through attaining one’s dreams. Sometimes, to allow oneself to try anyway, even in the face of impending failure, is the ultimate act of hope.”