Last Saturday I was out hiking in the forest all day. My friend had wished for a hike with her friends as her birthday gift. I was enjoying putting one foot infront of the other, the good conversations we had along the trail and the smell of the forest waking up to spring. The excitement of reaching the cabin and the hot coffee and the warmth of the fire.
My friend Angeliqa called it “hikefulness”, a word that encompasses everything she loved and inspired so many others to experience. Because to her hiking should not be about prestige, it’s about enjoyment.
In the evening I got a call from a friend telling me that Angeliqa is no longer with us.
My dear friend Angeliqa. So full of power and energy, always happy and laughing. Singing, talking to everyone and sharing all of that positivity with those around you, together with coffee and chocolate of course. She spread joy with everyone she met, and through her social channels she inspired people to go outside and she brought so many of us us together in our love for nature.
But behind all of that she suffered and eventually it became too much and she succumbed to the darkness. Eventually the only thing left for her to do was to end her own life. This makes me so sad, upset and angry at the same time. I feel like I don’t have words for it. But it is so, so important that we talk about this.
Someone can seem so happy and successful, especially today when social media is such a huge part of our lives. But we need to remember to see beyond that. No matter how things might seem, people can still be sad, lonely, anxious, stressed or in pain. And that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong or shameful with not being well.
Please don’t ever be afraid to seek help and talk with someone; Be it friends, family, strangers or a professional. Ask those around you how they really feel. And when someone asks how you’re doing – be honest.
So, with that said. How are you doing? Really?
I’ve been very low on energy lately, working a lot and feeling stressed about not having enough future work planned. This line of business is hard. I don’t have a huge savings account so when I don’t have a lot of work lined up I worry about money and I should just find a “normal” job. But I know that would not make me happy. This is my calling and my passion.
But this can be such a lonely line of work sometimes… I am the CEO, photographer, editor, accountant, planner, marketer and copywriter – all at once. Luckily, thanks to internet I have so many peers and colleagues and we talk a lot, through chats, texts and voice messages.
I’ve also been crying all week, I’ve been sad and upset that someone who gave so much to others fell into the darkness. Behind her she leaves a stronger hiking community, lots of inspiration, the wonderful network of Female Adventurers and so many happy memories from the trail.
I am grateful I got to know you and that I had the opportunity to hike part of the St. Olav Pilgrimage with you. I’ve laughed with you, I’ve sat and sung with you around a campfire and we’ve had so much coffee and chocolate.
I will always carry you with me, step by step on every path I walk.
“Naked feet against the earth.
One with everything that’s ever been”
Angeliqa, December 5th 1986 – March 23rd 2019
Hike in Peace