“May I go to the bathroom?”
This was my ticket, my ticket to freedom. Did I use my hall pass to go to the nearest bathroom at school? No, of course not. I took my own little adventure, I hopped gates and fences to walk along the flower beds to eventually slink my little self into the library without anyone knowing. It was right there, a complete collection of National Geographic magazines dating back to the ’70s, or at least that’s how my 9-year-old brain remembers it.
I nestled myself in between the bookshelves and was completely checked out of this mundane world contained by four white walls.
I have some other confessions, I was a proud member of the World Wildlife Fund as a kid, I use to lecture my friends if I caught them littering, I’ve watched The Great Migration and the entirety of Planet Earth over a dozen times, I founded an environmental club at my high school and then promptly got shut down for my screening event of The Cove, and lastly, I was a contributing member of Green Peace until the age of 24.
My passion for the outdoors, wildlife, and honestly anything about protecting our natural world runs deep in my veins. Sometimes too deep, I tend to get overwhelmed and frustrated with how our modern society dismisses the importance of the place we all come from and call home.
In recent years, I’ve had to put my head in the sand when it comes to environmental policies and events. Everything feels like a losing battle with no hope in sight and it was taking a toll on my mental health. I chose to be less radical and start to try and understand others’ perspectives on these issues.
Welp, I can’t anymore. I am not a political person in the absolute slightest, and I rarely share my views. Let’s be frank here, I don’t give a f*ck about economic statues, bills, etc. I care about one thing and that’s the literal dirt under our feet, the air that we breathe, and the water we drink. To me these are the foundations of human existence, everything else is on top, and with our current apathy for the bottom, we are on the brink of it collapsing.
The outdoors has been more to me than I think people realize. Yes, I like to play. Yes, I like to travel and get sunburnt while I get paid, but it’s so much more than that. I’ve touched on it a few times in my other posts if you’d like to revisit them. I get to bear witness to what the natural landscape and our actives can do for a person. Confidence building, health benefits both physical and mental, and for me most importantly a safe space.
When I was a camp counselor, I wasn’t providing just space for these kids to play in the mud and get launched off The Blob, I amongst the entire camp was providing an escape. Many of our campers came from homes that weren’t always ideal or healthy. Some were headed down a concerning path, while others may be stagnant. When you take a person and guide them through any experience in the outdoor scene you will watch a beneficial transformation of that person whether adult or child.
My political views have not changed. I will only vote for what is best for our lands and natural spaces, that is concrete. Starting around 2016, our public lands have been under attack. I would like to invite you to watch or read the following articles and references I have below. I do not wish to change your view, but rather just present to you what the outdoor world has been going through and how it affects everyone.
Times are pretty stressful right now and I know all of us just wish we could use our hall pass to go escape the world in a library, but let’s not lose the only real places we can escape to.