Dirtbag Day 104

Austin Haedicke bio photo By Austin Haedicke

Alas, the time has come where my dirtbag journey will be coming to a close (at least in the physical sense). You can take the dirtbag out of Yosemite, but you can't take Yosemite out of the dirtbag! I have mentioned before that my dirtbag endeavor has not been “typical” of either the stone masters of yesteryear nor the pseudo-gypsy vacationist adventure commonly taken up nowadays either. To quickly recap:

  • My homelessness was not forced upon me, it was an intentional choice
  • Rather than travel the country’s finest crags I’ve confined myself to the Southeast USA (because…)
  • I have been trying to hold down a full time job whilst engaging this adventure (why…)
  • I don’t hate my job (and life because of it) like many 9-to-5ers. Rather I absolutely love it. (I’m a child therapist doing in home therapy, I don’t think I’ve mentioned that explicitly before).

Over the past month or so I’ve been dawdling with the idea of “settling down” (ha!). I have learned many things on this journey and will share them here, but it will require some time and separation for me to gain perspective and put it into words. This is a hard life I’ve chosen and it isn’t worth it anymore. However, that is not to say that it never was.

When I became a propper gypsy in July I was, more or less, living the dream that most people might be envious of and expect from such an adventure. At the time I was only seeing half a dozen or so clients and could easly maneuver my schedule to acoomodate three (sometimes four!) day getaways to the mountains, or easily squeeze in several morning sessions at the crag on weekdays. It was beautiful, I was loving every minute of it.

As my case load built though, I was finding less and less time to climb. The irony, so it seems, is that the two things I love doing most were coming into (and still are) in a conflict of resources; time as well as mental and spiritual energy as well. Climbing has long servered me as a way to immerse myself in the seclusion and wonders of the wilderness and provide respite from my work world. Love my work as I may, it costs a great deal of me to do it the way I want to and think it needs to be done. Eventually I found myself not so much living the dirtbag dream that is the envy of all weekend warrior climbers, but really just a homeless guy maybe managing a crag trip on the weekends. This had morphed into something all together different than what it began as.

Much like how this journey began, it is ending with a choice. I don’t know when that specifically will be, but it will be much sooner rather than later. To speak briefly, there is a reason “the system” is so attractive and easy to get sucked into and trapped in… there is comfort and safety there. Problems seem to arrise when our attachments to and relationship with those systems and the people in them are warped to serve the desires of “the status quo” rather than our beings as humans.

Still flying free, and a dirtbag at heart,

Austin