FSB VI – Afterward
I have a long history in New Hampshire’s online-hiking community which started back in 2005 when my movie, “48”, was first released. Unfortunately, by my own undoings, I recognize that much of how folks remember me in that community is as an out-of-control, over-opinionated, punk. When I first joined these communities, I very much enjoyed the relationships and friendships created over the years. However, as time went on, I couldn’t believe the behind the scenes poison that exists within the realms of cyber-bullying in this community. As well as the true naivety and narrow-minded posts of some of the communities members. Over time, I took on the challenge of trying to get people to see things other than “Black & White.” To get people to think “out-side the box.” While trying to accomplish this personal goal of mine, which I thought was helpful, I accomplished nothing less then my own frustration and personal destruction.
I left the online hiking communities for two very different reasons. Many of my closest friends existed on Rocksontop.com. I had to leave that community because I realized that some of the negativity and frustrations I felt, and in many cases created for myself, were contributing to my struggles with deep depression. When I walked away from the website, I kept in distant contact with many of these folks through FaceBook but generally, I also walked away from an entire community and submitted myself to my own personal exile. While in this exile, it became my mission to find myself, re-direct my energies and find ways to do good.
I returned to the FSB this past weekend for a few reasons. One was mentioned above in that I wanted to introduce Randy Pierce to a community that has done so much for me in the past. A community which I knew has a big heart and would be willing to understand and support Randy and his mission long after I’m gone from those hallowed hills. I returned to reconnect with many of my old friends whom I hadn’t seen in 2, 3 and in some cases 4 years. I returned to say goodbye and I’ll see ya later to those who I remained in touch with and whom I hold close to my heart. Yeah… as I said good bye to the head fool, Russ, I fought back a rush of tears. I’m going to miss many of these folks.. as I have for so long all ready. I also needed to climb to the hut so that for one time… rather than none.. I could look two people, whom Sarah and I hold very dear to our hearts, in the eye and tell them that I’ll always be here to support them in their time of trouble. I know some of the pain they go through.. I lived it myself from their daughters perspective. I feel for them and love them.
But the other reason I wanted to go, was to show a community that I walked away from that change is possible. I wanted them to re-live the Sherpa John they knew in 2005 before the poison crept in on all fronts. I wanted to laugh and cry. I wanted to hoot and holler. I wanted them to see that.. yes… Someone can sink into the darkness and through hard work, perseverance and better choices; anyone can resurrect themselves much as I feel I have. I wanted them to hear my laugh, see me smile.. and hear my words. I wanted them to see the humble Sherpa. Forever thankful for their support and friendship. Their time and attention and forever apologetic to the many wrongs I could never make right. So to my foolish friends.. until we meet again.. happy trails. I don’t know if any of them saw what I hoped they would, but I’m content in knowing I tried.
To Jay… “L.I.G.” I know what that is my friend. That, is my nemesis. The hardest thing in the world for me to do. No one but me can know the true pain I’ve felt given the actions of some of the poisons in this community. Just know that I hold dear to my heart and still smile before bed at night at the good that you people have given and done for me. So while I can LIG to some, I can’t to all.. I’m still working, still hurting and still moving forward. Left, right, repeat.. Hope you’ll join us for OH.
Yours.. and I miss you all,