Back when I was still hiking the desert, the day I crossed the short section of the Mohave I hiked with Backup and Horizon, and as we slowly walked along the LA aqueduct I mentioned that I had a sister who was pregnant and going to have her baby while I was hiking the PCT. Backup and Horizon mentioned it would be cool if the baby's middle name was derived from my location on the PCT when my sister delivered her baby. I said I better not be in Tuolumne Meadows when the baby is born. Low and behold, about a month later my sister delivered a baby boy four hours after I walked into Toulumne, and luckily his middle name is Daniel and not Tuolumne.
I recognize that even though the trail simplifies my life, I realize for my friends and family life continues to progress whether I'm in the picture or not. I'm grateful for the opportunity to hike the PCT, but at times the trail isolates me from key moments in the lives of loved ones. In addition to missing the birth of my second nephew, one of my good friends purchased his first house and I will miss the first house party. Another close friend will move to Spain to attend graduate school in the fall and I'm missing out on several months of opportunities to spend time with him before he and his wife once again move to another continent.
Besides all of the life moments I'm missing I also recognize most of my friends continue to advance their careers while I walk four or five months of my life away with no clue or leads on any potential career. Even with everything that I'm missing out on in the "real" world I believe I am where I need to be. I may not understand fully, but in the end I hope my faithfulness to this endeavor will be fruitful and lead me into the next season of life, whatever that may look like.