(Was supposed to post last week)
I’ve been here a little over a week, about 10 nights to be exact. Been quite an interesting time. I’ll say this is the longest I’ve gone without a shower in my life, no doubt. Although, the rain has been visiting the last 4 days and Mother Nature seems to know just when to send in the cleansing team. I’ve certainly had my good times and in the same breath, I’ve had some hard times. Mostly the feelings, emotions and thoughts that arrive when being alone. Loneliness is a strange thing. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get used to it, I’m just finding ways to cope. Having a random boat of visitors or a conversation with a friend certainly brings out the brighter side and gives me a little more strength to make it through the mental battles I’ve avoided and need to face. I’ve been in Alaska quite a while now and I’m certainly getting a better understanding of the life of an Alaskan Scout. I’ve picked wild blueberries, fished, been soaked by rain, felt the pain of hunger and faced the same meal for the 10th day in a row. I’m certain I’ve lost some weight. Just cutting and packing firewood is a almost daily chore. I previously mentioned laughter as one of the key life factors that’s missing from my time here, that’s for sure one of the hardest to live without. This time I’ll mention one of the other missing ingredients that makes it so difficult and I know The Scouts had to feel the same way. Family and Friends. I’ve spent months upon years in far off countries and certainly I missed my friends and family. During those times I had many distractions. Being here, I miss my loved ones more than ever. I’ve felt weak at times and almost packed it all up and flew home if only for a few days. It’s the worst withdrawals I’ve faced. I absolutely love my friends and family more than anything else.
One thing that’s helped me through my time on the island is all the personal journals and interviews I’ve read of the actual Scouts encounters during the battle of Attu and their time with the Army. It makes my experience feel like child’s play. The extreme environments and the demands of their physical and mental strength are unimaginable. The experiences these men faced should never have to be faced by man. My love and passion for sharing their story with the world has exploded into another dimension. I thought I knew what I was involved with and after diving deep into Jim Rearden’s library… I had no idea. I’m so grateful for his desire and dedication to tell the story of the Alaska Scouts and I know there’s no way to tell all the stories, not even in a book.
One of the other things that gets me through my time is the absolute beauty that surrounds me. I can get distracted, as we all do at times, and I hear negative thoughts, causing worry about my future or lack there of, and I start venturing down a sad road. I’ve found that truly stopping myself in my tracks, clearing my mind and body of any thought and feeling and take in the world I live in… Heals my mind and body almost instantly. I’ve dreamed of living in the wild of Alaska for nearly a decade and I’m here doing it. How could I have negative thoughts or feelings at all? This is it! I learned to truly live in this moment. Soak it in. I may never get this kind of opportunity again. “Live in the moment…” And then, I do.
As I go into this next week, the forecast calls for rain all week. The temperatures are certainly dropping and everything I have is damp or wet. I dig deep for positivity during these times and knowing you’re all out there supporting me helps me get trough it. Thank you all for our friendships and relationships. They’re truly the most important thing to me and I’m so grateful for them. As you go into your week, when you find frustrating times, or uncomfortable situations, maybe something challenging, take yourself back to one of the times in your life that called for every bit of strength you had and compare it to that moment. As Colonel Castner said about the Alaskan Scouts, “There’s no one tougher than an Alaskan Scout.” Be tough, dig deep, find mental strength and look at all you have. I promise you, it could always be worse. Blessings to you all!