Scrapbook One Hundred Forty Three…


JULY 2015

Dear Forrest,

Hello! I hope it is alright that I call you by your first name. I just wanted to convey how important your words and stories have been to me these last few weeks and offer thanks. I would venture to guess most emails you receive are in regards to the treasure; questions about the poem, its clues, people wanting more information, etc; that is not this email.

I purchased your book, “The Thrill of the Chase”, June 15th after hearing about it from my parents, who they themselves were leaving to search for the treasure in New Mexico that week. Something about a real life treasure hunt made a tiny spark in my mind and soul. Perhaps it was the kindling of memories of making treasure maps with my cousins and running through the “jungle” (fruit orchards), swinging on “vines” (ropes we hung) to cross “rivers” (irrigation for the trees) to evade imaginary adversaries also in search of our treasure. Perhaps it was the notation that I like to think I am clever and like to solve a puzzle just to know I can. Or the fame in being the first to do so. Or the thoughts of what I could do with the money; pay off school loans, travel, I could go horse back riding through the Scottish highlands, see the pyramids of Egypt, safari in Africa, see all the beautiful art and architecture in Italy, go repelling into caves, so many places to see and things to do!! Whatever the reason, I purchased the book.

I have to say your book saved my life.

I had at the time, well I still am, going through a divorce from my high school sweetheart. It had only been the first few weeks when I purchased the book and I have to say the hardest few weeks thus far. I have not handled it well. We were married 10 years. Which I think is an accomplishment for people my age nowadays, especially with the challenges we had to face with multiple deployments. But I still couldn’t shake the feeling that I had failed. I had an array of feelings at any one time but the majority was anger and sadness. All the unmet expectations that I had, that we had, for the marriage gone, the life I had dreamed, gone. So here I am at 30 starting over. How? I’ve really don’t know how to date having gotten married at 19. All the doubts came flooding in, that I am not good enough, not worthy of love or happiness, that I will be alone forever, etc everything seemed pointless and I quickly went to a dark place.

But it was your book that offered relief from that dark place. I could read the book and imagineย  making a goal or plan to go look for the treasure. Make a plan to go on a trip with my family, at the very least we have a great time camping and seeing a part of the U.S. we’ve never been before. Talking with my parents about our theories has been probably the most time we have spent talking with each other in a long time. So as a mere distraction your book saved me but there is more to it than just distraction.

I will probably not be able to verbalize just how much this part of the book meant to me at the time because some weeks have passed, but the last two pages of your chapter ‘My War for Me’ resonated with me. It is true that in a hundred years no one will know I even existed, but that doesn’t matter now does it? Because it “really doesn’t matter who we are if we are someone to ourselves”. The beauty that exists in me is there whether anyone sees it or not; the beauty and value in every living thing exists whether we recognize that value or not. I think I realized I didn’t want to waste my turn either. When I read this in the middle of the night I cried and held my hand to the page as if this action somehow connected me to you, to the universe, to every person who has felt the same. It was funny that later on you mentioned about touching art, and how not being allowed to touch the art, to be separated from it in some way was impersonal. I agree. I think that’s way I want to travel so much, to be present in a place with history, to stand where others have stood and to look around and see what they saw, smell what they smelled, hear what they heard, (though these things can change) but I would love to go to Deadwood and just be in a place where Wild Bill lived, hike the John Muir trail and imagine what it must have been like for him seeing Yosemite essentially untouched by man, to stand in the Sistine Chapel and look up and imagine how Michelangelo felt when he did the same. That can’t be experienced by reading a book or looking at a picture.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you. You probably never thought your book would save a suicidal divorcee, but it did.

Have a good night,



69 thoughts on “Scrapbook One Hundred Forty Three…

  1. Welcome aboard Jessica. Thank you for sharing your personal story. And do not worry- thirty is the new twenty.

  2. โ€œLife is a game of poker,
    Happiness is the pot.
    Fate deals you four cards and a joker,
    And you play whether you like it or not.โ€

    Iโ€™ve got some good news and some bad news for you. The bad news is, at your young age, life has more trials and tribulations in store for you. Life is not fair, never has been, never will be.

    The good news is, at your young age, life has many more adventures and wondrous moments in store for you. Grab every banana donโ€™t be afraid to give it your all.

    Realize the only thing on this planet you have control over is you. Picture in your mind what the best spouse, friend, daughter, mother, employee, boss, would be like; and then become that person. Itโ€™s not an easy task to live up to our own expectations. Experience the joy of helping someone without expectation of anything in return; itโ€™s the best gift youโ€™ll ever give yourself.

    In this game of life you have no control of the cards you are dealt, but the joker can be whatever you want it to be and can give you a winning hand. Never let anyone take that away from you.

    Good luck and good hunting Jessica.

    • Yes! And I’ve got to learn to play it right…”you’ve got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em, know when to walk away, know when to run….”

      I am finally realizing I have to be more in control. I am too passive, go with the flow, co dependent type and that has just brought me a whole lot of grief, pain, trouble, etc

      No more. I’m gonna learn to play it right! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Jessica,
    yours is not the only life the chase has saved. I sent Forrest an email similar to yours and i don’t imagine that you and I are alone. Forrest has helped me with the thought of hope and thinking of the future. Keep your head up Jessica, Age is just a number and don’t ever loose your imagination.

    Jessica, I wish you the best that i can without wishing you find the chest. Also I’m pretty sure in one of Forrest’s video he was doing sign language under the table and he said “Jessica the treasure chest isn’t in Colorado, look elsewhere”

    • Thank you lucky! I wish you the best as well! I hope my email helps others to know they are not alone.

  4. LOL Lucky! Goofy, I think you said it all. Jessica, on the days that you are sad or angry, come to the site and know you are connected with a group of people looking for the same thing you are. You are a part of it. You are not alone. Be happy and take care of yourself; you deserve it.
    Best wishes for you.

  5. Tough to be a Military wife!


    USAF (Retired) 1954-74

    My wife Betty almost raised our Children by herself.

    • Yes it is! That was just an added stressor. We got married perhaps too young, among other issues that develop over time and if not handled well or communicated well it tends to just fester, we both made mistakes and hindsight is 20/20 if I could go back to defining moments I would do things differently in my marriage. But then again I wouldn’t be who I am now, or on the path to where I am going. Both paths would be differnt and who’s to say which one would be better. But we do not get a re-do button in life. So we have to own our choices, continue to learn, and strive to be better.

      • You have an excellent command of the English Language perhaps writing a book is in your future?

  6. Jessica,

    I hope you the enjoy the chase. good luck to you. And if I were you I would look In Colorado. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ( Lucky) ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Welcome aboard girl! You have just the heart for what this takes. The second time arounds a real charm. Don’t be afraid to kiss a frog and just this once listen to Goofy. Mucho Suerte!

    • “All princes start as frogs and all gentlemen as dogs, just wait til it’s plain to see what they’re growin’ up to be” ๐Ÿ˜‰

      We’ll see in time. I told myself a year to focus on me!

  8. Jessica, learn from the past. This Chase is an adventure. Go search your jungle. Be careful swinging on vines. And be cautious about flash irrigation. Sounds like your relationship status is bound to get better. Like a song out there says, “Hold your head up. Hold your head up. Hold your head high.”
    Amy, I’m sure Jessica has a good head on her shoulders and knows where to search. There is no need to encourage her.
    f, I like your delivery.
    It’s time for me to quiet down again. The time for me to go out searching again is near. Time to get packing.

    • Slurbs

      ๐Ÿ™‚ Encouragement always can help someone. You and I are on the right path. ๐Ÿ™‚


      • Thank you! I feel like I am on the right path now. I couldn’t see it a few weeks ago but I feel I am where I’m supposed to be.

  9. I received another email from Jessica about midnight. It is refreshing to see how she commands the English language. I am sure the air of her new freedom will be intoxicating.

    • Well thank you! I am sure some English major somewhere would tell me I misuse semicolons, but thank you. I like how you commanded the English language in this comment! “Intoxicating” “air of her new freedom” love it!

  10. Why do people always need other people?

    Whats wrong with wanting to be alone? Why can’t people deal with loneliness?

    Jessica go into the wild for 4 months with a faith in God and yourself. Take a break from people:)

    You won’t fall apart, you won’t miss them in time, and you’ll grow in ways beyond believe.

    • Nature is a very feminine and she can heal more than people can give you……………

      When you find a flower so far away from everything you will know God put it their for his own enjoyment.

      You will start feeling his presence more and more since he is the small quiet voice……….

      People are so out of touch with nature. 4 months it took them around here to realize the morning dew might make a chest wet…………..

      Out of touch with God due to all the noise…………..Their

      not really connected with each other………….

      Any ways i better stop ranting …………..

    • Rick, I don’t have a problem being alone. I have already decided to wait a year before I even put dating on the radar. I am taking time to focus on discovering me and healing.

      the idea of dating was just one of the many overwhelming thoughts that flooded me in the first few weeks.

      I think we are meant to share this life with others. Also, I think there is someone special to share it with as well. Things that aren’t meant to be shared with everyone.

  11. Jessica,
    I believe that a person needs to love themselves enough to be happy with a life alone before they can share that life with someone else. Know that yes, you are loved and lovable! All things happen for a reason, and IMO there are no failures, only life’s lessons to learn from. You only fail when you give up trying to live and learn. I wish you the ability to decern the true reasons for the things you experience and I wish you contentment. But most of all I wish you love of self. You sound like someone who is on the right path now.

  12. Jessica,
    That was a really beautiful email. If it were any longer I’d be bawling my eyes out. Thank you for letting Forrest share it with us. Stay strong, and go find that treasure!

  13. Jessica, welcome to the group and thanks for sharing you story. The most important thing about the chase, is that the chase is the thrill. Don’t expect to find the chest the first trip out, not that it couldn’t happen but history says its unlikely. The treasure chest is only 100 square inches in thousands of square miles. There is a whole world of beautiful sights to behold, interesting places to see, and
    people to meet. Have fun and stay safe.
    Good luck in all your journeys!

  14. Jessica, you are in some ways lucky. Your get the chance to start all over again, and live it the way you want to. When I read your story it reminds me of what my own daughter went through, she was about your age. Now she is the happiest I have ever seen her despite all that sadness she went through.

    I cant speak for anyone else but myself when I say the chase has saved lots of us from our varied lives and trials. Like others have said, we are like a great big family. When one needs support, it can be found here. ๐Ÿ™‚

    It is wonderful what Forrest has done he is teaching us all that we have more in common than we have differences. That is the true treasure in my opinion. Peace be with you, and a great deal of happiness too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Jessica,

    As a once army brat, and young divorcee, you have a special reasonance with me. It’s wonderful that you’ve found this treasure hunt to occupy your thoughts and replace some dreams. And I don’t want to throw cold water on your welcome. But divorce is a prodiguous agent for transforming emotions. Both positively and negatively. And a treasure hunt, however fun and engaging will not heal all wounds, or replace the things or people you may feel you lost. I would recommend that you get divorce counseling from a therapist you can put your trust in. All health care plans are required to provide that now in some fashion. And approach the Chase as a diversion, don’t view it as more than that.

    Great luck to you

    • I agree with you! I have a great therapist. This book though was the best thing for me while sitting alone in my apartment. And the little nuggets of wisdom sprinkled throughout the book about life.

  16. What a lovely letter Jessica! Gratitude and hope are incredibly powerful forces to help pull us out of despair–but I don’t need to tell you that because it is clear from your letter that you are harnessing those quite well already. No unsolicited advice from me, just good wishes and warm thoughts sent your way.

  17. Jessica,

    Writing is very cathartic; use it often.

    Having been in your exact same shoes, larger size probably and many years older, the one piece of unsolicited advice I will give is to ” Learn how to give yourself permission to feel the freedom.”

    I have always thought there should be a medal for being a military wife.

    My thoughts are with you as you travel this journey.

  18. Jessica, I think Goofy covered what I would have said. Welcome to the Thrill of the Chase. Once this obsession grabs ahold of your mind and imagination, you won’t need other people, except for those, who like us on this blog, are also obsessed with this quest. This seems to be a wonderful site filled with good people and tons of camaraderie. Thanks to you and Forrest for sharing.

  19. Wow Jessica,
    I am so glad you found a light in the darkness. You will find a great sense of camaraderie amongst those of us who are in the chase. I have been where you are now and it always tugs at my heart strings when I hear someone say that suicide would be a better answer. I have lost people to suicide and can tell you that the ones who love you and want to help you are the ones who will suffer the most. I agree with Rick, the need to be accepted and loved by other people seems to be the most important thing, but finding that love and acceptance within yourself is more rewarding than any treasure on earth. We all walk our own trail through the wilderness of life. The realization that everyone will reach the trail’s end, and the understanding that this is inevitable and purposeful may leave you feeling much more acceptable and lovable. We all are deserving of acceptance and love. You do not need to “fix” yourself because you are not broken. If you feel uncertain of your path, stop, look back at the trail you have been on, and recognize it brought you to where you are now. Only you can choose to take a new direction from that place forward. Be brave, look within for the light to show you the right path. Oh yeah, welcome to the chase!

  20. Wow Jessica… I don’t know what to say except I am grateful you found The Thrill of the Chase to help you through any hard times you are experiencing… The Poem definitely has the power to distract your mind away from any worries…. Good Luck to you…:)

  21. Jessica,

    You chase and mine are similar. I am retired from the military and am working through a divorce. The Thrill of the Chase has brought be happiness and has helped me cope with some of the PTSD issues I deal with on a daily basis…It helps me clear my head and think bout better times and keeps me dreaming of the man I want to be for my children. I would love to find the treasure and be able to take them to Costa Rica…so I could learn with them about the rain forrests, the ocean, the volcanoes and to catch a fish with them.

    • That sounds like an amazing trip! I wish you the best of luck in our hunt and in this life!

  22. Very touching story Jessica. Don’t let the sad times get you down. This Chase is special and we are all blessed to be a part of it. Have some fun and get on out there!!

  23. I feel your pain. That’s just how I am( a big cry baby). Things will get better. You will be surprised at how wonderful you will feel when you are out there,way out there in the open air…Hugs!!
    So welcome,Jessica. Don’t forget your flashlight and sandwich… ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. I am glad that Jessica found this site instead od the other one. Here everyone seems to be friendly and helpful. I am afraid that the other site might not be so welcoming. Give it time Jessica, time heals all. Good hunting.

  25. Jessica,

    Goofy is not so Goofy and that was great advice.

    To my daughters (and sons) i would say choose your friends wisely, enjoy the work that you do – if not change jobs, help others that are in need, be true to yourself, and do not jump into things with haste – time is on your side.

    You write well and could start a blog or just write a journal for yourself,

    Best of Luck in Life.

  26. Once a man, fighting despair, cast a pretty pebble into a pond.
    There, below the center of the rings.
    Time will tell.

  27. Jessica,

    I’ve been through this too. The feelings you have are temporary and will fade with time.

    Don’t “cure” a temporary problem with a permanent solution. It will get better. Trust me. Sounds like you have figured that out.

    Go read Goofy’s advice again. It is good advice that can be said no better.

    Walk into the wind with your chin up. The wind will turn to a breeze, and before you know it the wind will be behind you.

    Scott W.

  28. Jessica,

    At age 60 I can tell you life is full of start overs. My wife passed at age 35 back in 95. I never remarried. Yeah it is tough to go through. Imho just take time to breath in the fresh morning air and listen to the early morning bird song.

    Each day is a step forward. I like the fact you are finding yourself, Your personal value. So go forth young lady and find your treasure. ๐Ÿ™‚
    May your path be blessed with cool mountain water to quench your thirst.
    May your path you many splendor things to behold and marvel at.

    Blessing and peace

    • Note to self:
      Proof read before hitting post.

      *May your path present many splendor things for you to behold and marvel at.

  29. Jessica keep the chase close to your heart and hopefully you find this blog and know that others share with you some of those very feelings!! Take care and best wishes!

  30. My Dear Jessica, I’m sorry you are experiencing any of the hardness ending a longtime relationship. Almost 40 years ago, I was on that path but was blessed my wife then & still had enough love for me/us to help me find the right path. Today, our eldest daughter is th path to divorce her high-school love and husband of 10 years. It hurts especially because each of them is really a wonderful individual. This, too, shall pass. It sounds like you have already turned the page to a wonderful life – if not you will. I didn’t just read your words, I felt your feelings – I understood. In my 60+ years I’ve been blessed to have traveled through many parts of this beautiful country and much of Western Europe. My wife and I lived in Utah for a while and in Europe for 4+ years. I mention this not to brag, but help explain what really hit home with me were your words of being in a place and transcending time and living, feeling those who have traveled before us. Be it the caveman, roman soldier or norseman or the frontiersman, settler, puebloan or Clovis man. I’ve often thought, felt and wondered in such ways. I think this is part of what Forrest has tried to convey: the marvel of picking up an arrowhead from a thousand years earlier. I thought perhaps many of the people on this site, and in general, probably live and feel this way. Then it dawned on me that although each of us is unique, we have so much in common to share and connect with one another. Thank you for sharing and making a connection with me. God Bless.

  31. Jessica,
    Your situation is unique to you and your pain may seem like it cannot possibly be understood, but it can, and it is. Life hurts sometimes. Sometimes so bad you just feel crazy because you just hurt SO BAD. I have vivid memories of such torturous moments that life presents to us, and I shudder to think they were real. But I have learned that there is good too. Not just good before, but good after. I strongly believe that are roughest lessons are the best, and that in time, that same powerful emotion will return but with joy. It’s true, it’s the balance of things. It’s life.
    You seem sensible and strong. Stay that way. Grieve when you need and don’t beat yourself up about it. Then smile whenever you can! Life works in circles and you’re already on the turn for good. ๐Ÿ™‚
    May God give you strength. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Jessica-
    I hope you find the love and support you need from this blog to help move forward and be strong. I suspect it’s already inside of you as you know deep down in your heart how beautiful of a person you are. Never give up. I’d like to email you. I may have some good ideas to help in your quest.

  33. The Chase has had an immeasurable impact on countless lives. Friendships have been formed. Families have become closer. Adventures have been had. Knowledge has been gained. And a community has grown.

    The gold in the chest pales in comparison to the riches that have been found. The chest is still out there to be found. And memories are still waiting to be made.

    Thank you Forrest!

  34. Jessica –

    How great you found the The Thrill of the Chase –

    Around here,
    we don’t look backwards
    for very long……
    We keep moving forward,
    opening up new doors and
    doing new things
    because we’re curious……
    and curiosity keeps leading us
    down new paths. -Walt Disney-

    How to move on – simply delete the letter “L” from lover and realize it’s over.

    Here’s a great site to help Rock On with your new world.

    Wishing you happiness with this new adventure.

  35. Jessica,
    Just a few thoughtsโ€ฆ.You write very well. I believe you will go far. You are young and have your whole life in front of you. I have been through what you are going through at roughly the same age. It gets better, a lot better. If you are ever lonely and feel you need companionship, then BE a companion. That which you are seeking, you already are. If nobodyโ€™s around, you can be a companion with the flowers, trees and rocks. You can be a companion to a dog, cat or bird. Just offer your companionship freely and it will flower for you. In regard to the Chase, remember what Forest said: โ€œThey never knew that is was the chase they sought and not the quarryโ€. Your greatest treasure lies within your heart. So remember not to make this chase into an object, but try to seek the contentment first. This contentment is first and foremost within you, but the chase, the journey, can be an outlet for this discovery. Your letter touched my heart, and I know you have much to give to this world. Finally, I hope you can go search and have a great adventure, but be careful not to break the bank.

  36. Jessica,

    I too have found Forrest, The Chase and this great website as a comfort and turning point in my life. The last 4 years have been tough (won’t bore with the details) this year my Father started having health issues. Work was not enough to keep me occupied so I filled the gap with The Chase.
    Life does not get any easier but it can and does offer many, many good moments. You truly have to seize that moment and not lament when it ends but draw comfort from the memories.
    Getting ready to post, with Dals help, my daughters and my Chase experience from June. When a day starts getting tough, I pull up the pictures and memories from our experience.
    My favorite Uncle always told me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and damned if he wasn’t right.
    Hang in there kiddo and enjoy the ride.

  37. Jessica get your boots on and move forward we now initiate you as the newest member of treasure hunters ๐Ÿ™‚ Forrest has saved many of us thru his words and looking for the treasure helps us all move forward and to leave the past behind you stand strong girl
    And go find the Gold and yourself don’t look back . ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. I am so touched by your raw honesty. I believe your story has many more beautiful words to be written! Good luck to you Jessica, in life and hunting! Isn’t this exciting?!?!

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