I was at a pretty low point in my life a few years back. I felt stuck in a loop of repetitive things and actions that had no meaning to me anymore. This loss of direction in my life, supported by always present, never-ending anxiety about my job, constant feeling of instability/insecurity, and piercing loneliness that quadrupled in size at that time – all of it dealt a huge blow to my emotional state and a sense of self-worth.
I lived a walking distance of the trail for a while but I never really made time to explore it. However, armed with some free time and a strong need to get all the depressing junk out of my head, I got an idea to get on the trail and walk as long as my energy would let me. So I did it. Walked all the way from East Riverside to Zilker Park and back. And then I did it again the next day…and then again the following day…
It did not take long till these walks turned into a habit… no, scratch that – these walks became a necessary self-prescripted part of my psychological recovery. I discovered the spots (secluded and open) where I can sit, remove all the noise from my life, be still and just watch the flow of the river. The trail unraveled to me a lot of beautiful golden hours and sunsets, and even a double rainbow that I caught on camera, all for the purpose of teaching me how to look at things from a different angle. At times I’d bring my guitar and gently strum or pick some chords, sitting close to the water, trying to focus on the sound and how it blends with nature (luckily people around were nice enough to tolerate my playing), or I would invite my friend to join and sing something with me.
The trail played a huge role in my process of building myself up after being shattered. And that is the place I will gladly come back to whenever I get a chance.