Sometimes life doesn’t look like we want it to. Sometimes it doesn’t look like we planned, or like we really want to admit to ourselves our anyone else. But when life gets real, we turn to real ways to find peace. I love this piece by Ambassador Michelle. It really hits home with me. I’m sure you’ll find it helpful too.
I’m gonna get really real here. Do you ever feel like you’re not enough? Like you’re a fake and a phony? Do you ever feel like life is too damn hard and the difficulty mostly self-inflicted? Do you resist doing the things you know will make you better? Do you let fear keep you trapped and in denial? Maybe you don’t. But I do. All the damn time.
The last couple of weeks have been a real shit show in my life. I’m faced two choices: 1) suck it up and maintain the ho-hum status quo or 2) let the shit show go on and blow the motherf’er to smithereens.
I wonder if this is the universe’s way of pushing me out of the dead-end, soul-crushing trap I’ve built for myself? I’m faced with a mountain of debt. I’ve spent 10 years in a terrible work situation that may have just ended. I have no real marketable work skills (at least that show on a resume). I have no savings. My car is at the 100,000-mile stage and needs the ridiculous 100,000-mile maintenance. Also, I just found out I need a few thousand dollars worth of work done on my mouth. And then there’s my house — it’s almost literally falling down around me.
I got the news about the work on my mouth today, and it was the proverbial final straw. I couldn’t do much but cry. But after, I called a wise and trusted friend. She suggested I only needed to see the 10 feet in front of me. She suggested that I stop confusing assumption with assertion and then write down what I’d like my life to look like in a year.
The last part got me. I don’t have a clue what I’d like my life to look like in a year. Do you? For the most part, I’ve just let life happen. And to be honest, I’ve mostly just been trying to make it from one shit show to the next. Some of which were my making and some of which aren’t.
You may be asking yourself, “what in the sam hell has any of this got to do with the outdoors?” Fair question. But, it’s the outdoors that has kept me sane. It’s the outdoors that lets me know that I am enough. It’s the outdoors that helps me battle the feelings that I’m a fraud or a fake or a phony or whatever. It’s the outdoors that helps me set and crush goals. And then it’s also the outdoors that let’s me accept that I can’t crush every goal and that that’s okay, too. It’s the outdoors that makes me step out of my fear and do the things I know are good for me.
How, you ask? The outdoors keeps me sane by restoring my balance. It’s almost like I soak it up through the soles of my boots. The peace enters and flows through in and through me. I am enough in the outdoors. All a hike requires is a little preparation and putting one foot in front of the other. There’s no not being real in the outdoors. When a hike is hard, it’s just hard. I can’t hide my struggle. When it’s not hard, it’s just not hard. I’m not afraid to set a hard goal in the outdoors. I know how to prepare for a hard hike. When it comes along, I can try to set myself up in the best circumstances, and if it’s not going well, I can turn around or take all day to finish. Hiking has taught me to not compare myself to others, that my best is good enough. We have some real bad-ass, ninja hikers around here. I’m not them, and I’m ok with that. Being outdoors has inspired me to step out of my comfort zone, and do a few things I would have never done a few years ago. Being outdoors and being a part of HLAW has given me a level of confidence I didn’t have before.
So, what will my life look like in a year? I don’t know. But, I’m gonna sit down with pen and paper and use that same confidence I find in the outdoors to dream. I may let this shit-show blow the mother f’er up, but I’ll do it with no regrets. It’s not gonna be easy, and I may lose everything. But, surviving is not living and it’s time to live.