Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Be My Guest: Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

I'm honored again today to present the next post in my Be My Guest series. Jenn is in the house and that means we're all in for a treat. Although she writes the blog Sparkly Poetic Weirdo, don't let the name fool you, there's nothing weird about Jenn, she's 100% genuine.

Every now and then a voice comes to the blogosphere and social media that stops you in your tracks. Jenn has one of those voices. She's honest and uplifting. Her message is always one of peace, but written from a place of strength. She believes in empowerment, and that it comes from within.

Be My Guest: A series of Guest Posts on www.BakingInATornado.com | #blogging #bloggers #MyGraphics


I was only maybe a quarter of a mile in when I dropped my glove, for the third time, and wanted to quit. While it was true the hiking was causing me to work up a sweat it was my addiction to snapping photos that made my hands itch to be free of the thick, warm, insulated gloves. So, into my pockets I shoved them, or thought I did . . . until I realized, yet again I missed my picket and left it on the snowy trail somewhere behind me. Truly, I debated leaving it there. I mused that I could have just shoved my hands in my pockets while overnight winter camping. Worst case scenario, I'd lose a couple of digits and at that point I was kinda okay with it. Instead I backtracked AGAIN, said a slur of curses, bent down slowly balancing my 30 pound pack, mostly full of kind bars and idiocy, and snagged the damn glove.

My friends were ahead of me unaware that I kept dropping my gloves. Thankfully so. I did not want them to wait for my slow as molasses ass. I did not want them to coddle me or treat me like the winter hiking virgin I was. I wanted to hike and hurt. I wanted to feel my muscles slightly ache from pushing myself. I wanted to fall in love with the sunset while drawing the cold air into my lungs. I wanted to be amazed and blinded by the glistening glitter shining from the snow.

Really I just wanted to be.

To be alone with my thoughts.
To be alone with my inner dialogue.
To be open to nature around me.
To be open to myself and what I could accomplish.
To be one with my surroundings.

Where was I?

Oh yes, the quitting. I had wanted to quit. I was annoyed with everything. I was not a hiker. I waas not fit, I was not fast, and I was trying to convince myself I was not going to have any fun. It was better to just turn back now and break into the truck and sleep there for the night than keep going towards what was going to be a failure of a trip to me. I was *sure* I was going to drop the glove(s) a million more times, I was going to have to pee outside, I was going to get lost, I was going too slow, I couldn't do it and of course, I might fall.

Falling always seemed the worst to me.

 It meant that I had placed my trust in the wrong foothold, that I thought I was so sure yet failed myself with a miscalculation, and it meant I was down on my ass, again.

But there I was, turning around on the trail, pack on my back, glove clutched in my hand, ready to keep going. Because I had already gone that far. I had already shattered misconceptions about myself by even agreeing to go. I was ready for a small adventure. I was ready to try something new. I was ready to be awed.

When I began walking again, I finally felt it. I felt the awe come over me.

The blue sky winked at me through the chaotic canopy of the naked branches that clung to one another over the forest floor, the stark contrast of the white snow against the dark bark unleashed the butterflies in my stomach that fluttered all the way up to my heart, the sound that seemed void yet amplified caused my mouth to dry and eyes to water . . . as I realized my trail waited to welcome me with packed down snow and promises of memories I would never make anywhere else.

Winter hiking picture by Jenn of Sparkly Poetic Weirdo | Guest post on www.BakingInATornado.com

How sad would it have been to give up and talk myself out of falling in love with the world around me? It would have been a detrimental disservice to my soul. 

For the record, I did not drop either of my gloves again.

My friends blazed the way, waiting for me only at forks in the trail and at the sand dunes. We laughed, joked, ate and drank. We made camp 100 feet or so from Lake Michigan and fell asleep to the crashing waves kissing the shore while the stars poked through the velvety midnight sky and serenaded us with a lullaby that only the beauty of nature can provide.

Winter hiking collage by Jenn of Sparkly Poetic Weirdo | Guest post on www.BakingInATornado.com

The next morning we packed up and took off ready to go home. The wind was whipping, my ass did not like being exposed to the cold air in the morning, but
I trekked a couple miles in the snow, camped outside in winter, in Michigan, and was alive. My friends once again were in ahead of me - die to my insistence - and while descending my last sand dune before the trail. I biffed it.


I fell face forward then rolled down the dune and ended up like a turtle on my back. I was stunned. I did not know what to do. I had done what I feared most and . . .  I was okay. While laughing I rocked myself upright, dusted myself off and got back on the trail.

Here's the thing, the falling was to be expected. Not planned necessarily but there will be moments in life where we get knocked down out of nowhere leaving us confused and unsure what to do. Falling was not the worst thing to happen to me.

Did it scare me? Sure.
Did it hurt? A bit.
Worst thing? Oh, heck no.

It is the getting up part that is the bitch. Because you are not sure how to react. You are not sure what to do. You are not sure what your next step is. But as long as you are willing to take the next step and keep going that is all that matters.

Life is messy. It is not perfect nor is it meant to be. There is no clean way in and out of everything. There is no planner or itinerary of how things are supposed to go. They just. . . go. They happen. The be . . . and become. There is a lot of readjusting, recommitting and retrying. But no quitting.

It is okay, always okay, to decide a new path to try if you do not like the one you are trekking but to stop the journey altogether? No. You would be robbing yourself of opportunities to find out who you are, what you are made of and what you can do.

As for me, I am going to keep hiking. I will hopefully always decide to keep going even if I drop my gloves twenty times. I will continue to laugh at myself when I bust my butt. Which, I am sure, will be a lot. That being said, I will also remember it is okay to pause my journey, sit on the ground and cry for a bit if that fall scares the shit out of me.

But I am going to keep getting up because goodness only knows what else is out there waiting for me.

About the author:

Annoyingly nice. Science lover. Wife. Daughter. Mother of a fur baby named Rufus. Writer. Shenanigan finder and firm believer in kindness.
Visit her blog, Sparkly Poetic Weirdo
Join her on Facebook.

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


  1. Typical Jenn. Love every part of this!

  2. Such wisdom to be found in pushing our boundaries, in nature, in getting up, in being brave. This is just beautiful.

    1. Amen Barbara! We never know where our journeys can take us-thank you for reading! ❤

  3. I love it! I always drop my gloves everywhere I go. So frustrating. I am glad you didn't give up or turn back -- sounds like a wonderful experience and a good life lesson. Thanks for sharing your trek.

    1. Thank you for reading Shari!

      I'm buying safety pins, yes just like a little kid, to pin them to me next time. 😉

  4. Replies
    1. Life does like to try to throw us for a loop...luckily we can always get back on track.

  5. Such a beautiful tale of perseverance and inner strength. Lovely piece, Jennifer!

  6. Oh my friend, how badly I needed to be reminded of the truths in this.

  7. What a beautiful post about hiking and life! I know I've said it before but you're my hero for going camping - in winter no less!
    Thank you for not quitting - how else would we be able to enjoy reading your story and looking at the gorgeous pictures?

    1. Tamara you haven't lived til you winter camped...at least that's what helped motivate me! Thank you for reading!

  8. I could just picture the walk, I like to walk alone, so I can be lost in my thoughts, thankfully I don't get lost while walking because that would not be good

    1. Thank you for reading! I can easily get lost in my thoughts as well while wandering around in nature. 😉

  9. To be lost in the experience. That is living!


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