About Michele "Artemis" Oshel Rosa
Avid hiker, artist, author, entrepreneur, business owner, mother, wife, and 44 year old woman relaunching herself on the Appalachian Trail 2019.
Growing up in the backwoods of Maine, my brother and I had the best jungle gym in the world no money could purchase; the woods. Besides hunting, fishing, and hiking, we constructed epic forts in the dense forest, making any bushwhacking survivalist proud. I attended the University of Maine, served in the Army, and after meeting and marrying my husband in 1998, we eventually settled in North Georgia in 2002. Soon after, I found myself fighting debilitating illness which causing me to gain a crushing amount of weight. I was no longer a highly motivated woman, a lost shell of an idea and dream. During that time, I managed to write and published my first book, Lost Centuries, and placed several oil paintings in Atlanta galleries. It was not enough and I was still lost.
July 27, 2018, a song changed my life. My daughter came home from an overseas trip and told me she knew why I was miserable. She played the song, “Hello Dreamer” by Laikipia. I had the answer and key to the rest of my life and how to restore my soul. Train for my Appalachian Trail thru-hike attempt and rescue the girl I left back in the Maine woods.
Join me on YouTube on February 10th, as I walk down my dreams on the Appalachian Trail 2019. Each video will recant stories from my past until I reach full circle at the present, atop of Katahdin, Maine. Follow Artemis on the Trail on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and more importantly, The Trek!
I start walking down my dreams on the Appalachian Trail once topping Springer Mountain in Georgia. Each video will be a walk through of each trail section, accompanied by the emotional trials and tribulations on The Trek. Let's go AT class of 2019!
Appalachian Trail thru-hike reasons are never simple. If only it was a simple answer. My hiking vlogs documenting preparations for my thru-hike are differentiated with jokes and blooper reels. But there is more behind the laughter and reasons why and motivations to hike the Appalachian Trail. There was a distinct recipe for a catalyst launching me toward the enormous decision, and in my mind worth mentioning. The recipe included: one overweight, middle-aged woman, an intelligence career dashed at the foot of motherhood, a serving of crippling health issues, combined with emotional rigor mortis from a life centered around others. The produce was a raging dark spirit filled with unhappiness, infecting and destroying every treasured relationship in subconscious retaliation. The clown no longer smiled.
From the age of ten until 25, I cultivated an ambitious plan to work for the CIA, specializing in Russian politics. A Cold War baby who read too many Tom Clancy books by flashlight was aflame with purpose. The plan never included a family due to the line of work and blind ambitions. However, destiny jerked her chain taut when I met the love of my life. Within a year a decision had to be made because it was too difficult to concentrate during briefings when worried about your five-month-old baby half a world away. The pivotal year also dawned the real possibility of my professional world irrevocably changing when the planes hit the towers. Thus, I made the hardest decision of my life and rightly chose my family over career. I was incapable of having it all and one path would suffer for the glory of the other. Tucking away intricate career ambitions in a mental drawer in 2001 would come back to haunt me in 2017.
Seventeen years later, time is now my own, and heavy demands from my family have diminished. The silent house and empty schedule birthed a sentiment of meaningless existence, unrealized ambitions, and indecision how to wind down the last half of my life. The choices I came up were unappealing, further making me feel lost. Earning my PhD in Russian politics would relegate me to academia. I did not want to write the second book in my novel series, nor show more paintings in galleries. It did not help that I was too old to reclaim my intelligence career. My perceived lost purpose in life was quickly sinking and tanking valued relationships with my drowning gurgles of futility.
When It All Changed
My daughter played a song for me on July 29, 2018, knowing the song would free me from crippling emotional quicksand. While listening at the kitchen counter, dripping tears all over my freshly cleaned kitchen counter, I felt the cogs click into place. The song was “Hello Dreamer” by Laikipia. The lyrics launched the hike spoken about for years. Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail was the only thing I could see doing.
My daughter looked deeply into my eyes and echoed the lyrics, “Mom, what do you have to lose? Are you living the life you chose? You’re caging yourself when you just want to be free.”
Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike Reasons – The Rest of the Story
The desperate need to reclaim a purpose-driven life is only half of the story. The other half belongs to a large piece of my heart, my home state of Maine. I have lived in North Georgia for the last 16 years, raising my family. As I sectioned hiked the AT over the last couple of years, the yawning path beckoned, stretched out tantalizingly toward home. With eight generations from Maine and three Abenaki tribes in my blood, I can say with full confidence that I am homesick and ready to follow a path to a new beginning. I am petulantly walking home while filming and blogging stories about Maine, her people, my past, and hopeful plans for the future.
Tag along here on The Trek, YouTube, or social media to share laughs, tears, struggles and inspiration as I face trail challenges, heartaches, joys, pain, and Appalachian rain. Click on my author page for all of the links. Your support and love inspires me and keeps me moving. See you on the trail!
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