I know I said I was going to do a few more horror posts for Halloween, but I’ve changed my mind. I just got back from a week-long camping trip, and my thoughts are still lingering that way.
For the second time in my life, I found myself in this situation:
1.) Me plus my travel companion (first my BFF, this time Hub-a-dub) on what’s supposed to be an enjoyable vacation.
2.) We find a small road going up a mountain (first in Colorado, this time in Arkansas) and begin climbing (first through the snow, this time through rocks and dust).
3.) Soon, the road becomes unnavigable – or nearly so.
4.) I urge my partner to keep going just a little bit further ahead (first to reach a known destination at an unknown distance, this time to see what’s at the top of the road).
5.) We continue a bit, and my companion stops having fun.
6.) Seeing this, I tell them to wait for me, and I trudge ahead on my own.
7.) I refuse to give up.
8.) I am eventually forced to turn back (first by an avalanche blocking the road, this time by a time constraint of when I had to start coming back so Hub-a-dub would know I was okay).
What I should probably get out of this startling similar repeat is a lesson about stubbornness. I’ve frequently accused my mother-in-law of being the most stubborn person on Earth, but I’m pretty sure it’s actually me. (Sorry, Mom-in-law.) But I’m not thinking about that particular aspect of things today because, well, I don’t want to. Ha! Instead, I’m thinking about the mountains themselves, and the journey up them.
You know I’m about to get metaphorical with this shit. Of course, for me, my mind goes instantly to writing and publishing, but there are all sorts of goals in life – and all goals worth striving for have obstacles you have to overcome.
The thing about climbing mountains, at least new mountains, is that you’re never quite sure exactly what you’ll get once you reach the peak. You have an idea, yeah. Maybe breathtaking beauty, sweeping views, fresher air. But until you get up there, you can’t really know if it’ll be worth the climb.
And as much as the happy, positive part of me wants to assure you that it’s always worth the climb… sometimes it isn’t. I know this because there were instances besides the two above where I did actually get to the top of where I wanted to go. Sometimes you’re expecting heart-filling, gut-stirring, breath-stealing newness and all you get is an, “Oh. Well… that’s pretty,” before you decide to head back down.
And sometimes it’s even more than you could have hoped for. Sometimes the reward is tenfold. There are mountains, rest assured, that can change you. Change your life. Change your soul. And you can’t know which ones they will be until you climb them.
Some people are content to climb half-way to get the view. And despite what society might tell you, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. There are many types of people in this world, and not all of them can be as stubborn as me and Mom-in-law. (Hey, someone’s got to know how to compromise.) And some of the time – perhaps most of the time – those people are smarter. How often is the view from half way up as good as the view from the peak? Pretty often, actually. Scenery doesn’t change that much in a few thousand feet. Sometimes half way is just as good as all the way.
Sometimes. That’s the word that drives me to climb these mountains. “Sometimes.”
Because other times the climb makes the difference. Other times the view is worth the blisters, the sunburn, the cold toes, the aching shins, the dry thirstiness and pounding head. Other times the view can absolutely change your life. And that’s worth the journey, don’t you think?
But you’ll never know what’s waiting for you at the top if you don’t make the climb.
Maybe stubbornness isn’t such a bad trait after all.Share this: