Doing all the things we can do

“Ugh Leslie, why do you listen to that white girl music?” my “friend” said as I bounced around to Brittney Spears. I slowly stopped dancing and sat quietly.

“Leslie that is white people shit.” another “friend” said to me as I exclaimed that I wanted to climb a mountain some day. I let myself fade into the background. I was already a target at school with hair not quite right, being fat and not being able to find or afford fashionable clothes, and just being on the fringes of everything.

I am an adult now. We’ve all grown up. I’ve long since cut ties with friends who sought to point out my differences with disdain and not joy and wonder. I also tend to be confident in who I am now. I stumble sometimes, but don’t we all?*

Because of the experiences that I’ve faced as a child, teen, and young adult I find myself floating towards POC’s that are out here doing things you typically don’t see POC’s doing. I wanted to talk about two of those people today.

The Blackalachian

I forget how I got the book, but I own one of The Little House on the Prairie books. It is the one where Almanzo and Bess have taken their daughter Rose and moved to the Ozark Mountains. From there, that got me reading about mountains again, and people hiking mountains. Then I started to read about the Appalachian Trail. That lead me to watching videos of people hiking the Appalachian Trail. One of the things I noticed right away was 99% of the videos were all of white people. I watched quite a few of their journeys. I took in their injuries, how they were eating, the camraderie that that shared. One day I signed onto YouTube and in the suggested videos there was one of a Black man called the Blackalachian.

 

By the time I finished the video, I was hooked and attempted to watch from the beginning. He radiates such light and positivity, it is hard not to see an alert he has a new video without smiling. While I have posted the video from day 100, he has made a lot more since then. It has been amazing to see him grow as a hiker and deal with a few issues that non POC would probably never have to deal with. I hope to get a chance to interview him some day when he comes back to civilization. I believe so much in what is he is doing that I kicked a few dollars to his GoFundMe. He has recently flipped his hike (I can’t remember what it is officially called) where he stopped wherever he was, went to Maine (where the end of the AT Trail is) and is hiking the opposite way, so that he doesn’t miss Maine in the fall. We here at Geeky Girl’s Guide to Life wish him the best of luck.

Crystal Vanner

If you follow us on Instagram you will notice I post a lot of paper planning things. I attempt (very poorly) to draw, I have added a lot of planner Instagram pages that I follow. I belong to a planner group on Facebook. One of the ladies mentioned on there about living out of her van and traveling.

At this stage in the game, you have heard of the Tiny Home lifestyle. You’ve seen these elaborate tiny homes that people live in. Some people like Crystal are taking it a step further and creating homes out of their mini vans.

One of my goals is when I retire to partially live in an RV and travel the country. Crystal is traveling all over the place in her van. This nomadic lifestyle truly facinates me. It is not in the cards for myself right now; In addition to having a toddler, the job that I do (infrastructure IT) is not conducive to not being on site. So I live through Crystal’s vlogs. In addition to the jobs that she does, she also designs shirts. You can pick up one right here.

These are just a couple of the POC out here living their dreams and not being bound by what society thinks they should be doing. I commend them and I am always on the look out for more people to watch, read, and discover what they are doing.

 

*The first part of this post was incredibly hard to write, simply because I do not like talking about the time before I grew up and realized that people don't always has your best interest at heart.

  • Rebekah Maxine

    Very cool! I hadn’t heard of Crystal Vanner. I love hearing about people who follow their passions. And you are freaking fabulous as well.

  • Elsye Chardonnay Walker

    This resonates with me. ‘what white people do’, nope it’s what I do! I love that they are both out there

    • They are both amazing people! Thank you so much for reading -L

  • Elsye Chardonnay Walker
    • I will definitely be checking out your blog! Do you have a YouTube channel as well?

      -L

  • Stacey Johnson Donovan

    Fantastic piece…I just enjoyed it so much! There’s something about people being their true selves, liking what they like, and following their own path (haha, literally, in the case of Blackalachian) that makes me kind of emotional. Thank you!