Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Am I authentic or is it just in the air these days?

Tony and I went to see the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons. It was a good movie. I enjoyed it. The special effects and make-up are amazing. The story is good and actually quite believable. They made it seem completely natural to start out old and get younger.

I liked the messages in the movie about being true to who you are meant to be and how nothing in life is permanent. Nothing lasts.

I was bothered a bit by the movie, too. It seems like this decade's Forest Gump. Forest Gump was all about the baby boomers celebrating how great they were. I used to live with a baby boomer who wanted me to give gratitude for all that had been done for me. If it hadn't been for all their struggles during the 60s and 70s, I wouldn't have enjoyed such a wonderful life free from discrimination and full of great music. I found it oppressive and annoying to be constantly reminded of this.

Now the baby boomers are seem to be saying it's ok to get old, nothing lasts, we should all be true to ourselves and follow our dreams. Nothing wrong about that at all, but the whole baby boomer we're old now thing sort of distracted me a bit from the movie.

It also makes me wonder about myself. I'm too young to be in the baby boom generation but I tend to hang around people older than I am. Am I just dreaming of the PCT and an authentic life because I'm riding their coattails? Am I being subliminally brainwashed? Is their disillusionment at the emptiness of consumer culture contagious and I simply caught it from them?

A man wrote to the PCT email list today saying that now that the economy has crumbled and revealed the shaky ground upon which he was putting all his life efforts to find security, he's rethinking what he finds meaningful in life. He's thinking that perhaps chasing the American Dream is no longer working for him and it's time to embrace hiker trash culture. Put an end to materialism and start pursuing a more authentic way of being.

He says what I've been saying. He says what the movie I saw was saying. This is why I wonder, is it me or am I just part of some kind of new social movement? Am I being myself or just riding a wave?

On another note, I printed out my maps for my hike to go from Santa Barbara to the PCT. It's exciting to look at the maps. Even more exciting were some pictures someone posted to my hiking web site of the area I would walk through. It's so beautiful.

It would be fun to return to the PCT via my route, but would I want to re-hike the Mojave desert? I did not enjoy that section at all. I had a thought today that I could try to convince Tony to come with me and start at Kennedy Meadows and hike the entire John Muir Trail together. Then I could do the parts in the Sierra that I missed as well as some of the parts further along that were closed due to fire. I could redo my favorite parts, too.

I'm still dreaming about the PCT. I think I need to go back to get it out of my system. I can't really seem to function. And all around me I see movies, read books, talk to people, recieve messages from everywhere that say to just keep walking and let the rest fall into place. I wish I could see ahead to what "into place" ends up being.

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