Real vs. Real World Schizophrenia

It’s now exactly one week since i finished unfolded a crusty trail map and stuffed wool socks and Nalgene bottles into my mud-stained backpack. Packing for weekend camping trips–especially those destined for the Adirondacks–opens floodgates of memories that I rarely think about day-to-day.This past weekend’s trip with was no different–a perfect mix of good friends (Jimmy-J, Gabe, and Tanz who i only just met but is still a great guy), good weather (passing thundershowers on day 2), good times (long car-ride, peak ascents) misfortune (bear climbed a tree and ate all our food), and summer irreverence (leaping into rivers, watching the stars emerge with a 5th friend named Jack).So despite the obvious source of good memories from a solid weekend camping with friends, what i can’t put my finger on is how or why these memories have so successfully followed me around all week. I haven’t gone more than a few hours each day without flashing back to an “instead of this, wouldn’t it be nice to still be in the ‘daks” thought. I’m lucky enough to fully enjoy my job, so it’s not the result of boredom, and i’m not overly vacation-deprived.The thoughts, sounds, smells, and sights from this weekend return when I find myself doing the most typical “real-world” things—waiting for the Metro, filling my cup with coffee, swiping a badge over a reader, or staring at my computer screen as the 532nd email cascades in. Looks like our rapid trip from urban jungle to wilderness confused my meager human mind. There’s nothing much more “REAL” than watching a storm front roll in from a mountain summit or letting the back of your head cozy into the soft groove on a flat, dry, river rock as the planetarium opens up above. If all that nature loving is as “real” as you can get, why do we all go “back to the real world” on Sunday afternoon?SO – Which world gets to be the REAL “real world”? I’m voting for the one with trees — it’s nicer to look at and a lot easier to figure out: Once you realize you have no control, you’re all set. I can’t say the same about the other real world.

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