Waiting is the worst. We all know it. Toddlers remind me this every single day when I inevitably ask them to wait for their food, or for me to fix one of their toys, or for me to finish something I’m doing. They hate it. And of course, while this is a natural part of life, I can understand their simple frustration with this concept. It’s not fun, when you really want something, don’t like where you’re at, or simply can see something better…to have to wait for it. Regardless of the circumstances. Whether it’s dessert after your dinner or finding the right person to marry…it’s not very fun.
I’ve talked about this before, and I think it is one of those things that just pops up a lot in our lives because either we are “waiting” for something, someone, or for a change, or we know someone who is. I think it’s interesting too how often this situation goes. We sludge along, we keep trying, we put one foot in front of another…and…nothing. It sometimes seems like we make no progress, or so little that the “wait” or “work” or whatever we want to call it can seem like it was all for nothing. I mean, gosh, sometimes it can even seem like we have gone BACKWARDS. It’s massively frustrating and horribly discouraging. But then, it’s almost like in one instant, everything can change. The job you needed but couldn’t find is suddenly available. The person you thought you would never meet is suddenly sitting right in front of you. But literally, moments before this occurred, you may have laughed at someone saying that this would EVER happen. Now of course, often things don’t change “out of nowhere”. I mean, most of the time we’ve been working our butts off and putting in time and energy to get to where we want to be. But it usually feels like in one instant, it happens.
I’m not what you’d call an “outdoorsy” person. I mean, really. I like nature and all, but I’ve tried my entire life to figure out what plant is poison oak…and I still couldn’t identify it if you paid me to. However, I have hiked before. A few times. But still, this is actually from my personal experience and I’m not just making crap up here! Hiking is the worst. Okay just kidding. That was not my point at all. I mean, yeah yeah it’s got it’s merits, but it’s basically WALKING UPHILL CONSTANTLY. I digress though. In the few times that I’ve been hiking, I remember a lot of hard work, and a lot of bends in the path as you weave up the mountain. And for reals, it gets harder and harder as you go. The beginning is easy…you’re all gung-ho ready to conquer this mountain, the land is usually less sloped at the start of the trail, and you’re got all this energy saved up. And then you get going. It gets a little harder, you’ve been doing it a little longer, but you’re still determined. Then, about halfway up, you start to wonder if this was such a great idea, and whether you maybe took a wrong turn somewhere because SHOULD the trail be this steep and this covered in this much brush? Should it be this hard?? Maybe you did something wrong earlier on because this seems to be taking more time than it should be. But you’re already committed to that path, so you keep on going. Three quarters up the mountain and you’re getting mad. Your legs are on fire, your water supply is getting low, and you should have BEEN THERE BY NOW. What the heck? This is stupid. You see people coming down all happy and glowy from their successful hike and you hate them all. Why did THEY make it to the top before you? Some of them were BEHIND you when you started, and they made it up to the top, basked in the glory of the view, and are already racing down the hill. All before you’ve even seen your destination. It feels unfair. You feel like maybe you’re not as good as they are…maybe you did something wrong that slowed you down? You want some answers at this point. But, you keep going because you have invested way too much time to give up now. And then, right when you’re near the top, THAT’S when you want to quit. I mean, you’re WAY too tired to keep going. You wonder whether this is all even worth it after all. Every time you think “this is it! This is the LAST bend in the path!” you are disappointed. You discover that you are only facing another climb…one that you feel like you’ve got nothing left to give for. This is the worst part of the whole climb. You want to give up. You even start to think that maybe there isn’t anything waiting at the top of this horrid climb. But then, at curve in the road number 2,436…there it is. In that ONE INSTANT, you are there. You spent ALL that time and effort getting there, and it felt like nothing. You saw nothing. There was no view up to that point. It was dark. Difficult. Exhausting. Discouraging. And in one single moment, in one single breath, all of that is gone.
Some of you may love hiking and not really be able to feel the pain I’m talking about. But can you feel what I’m talking about in other situations? I’ve had friends who waited so long to get married. Dated guys they hoped were right, but it never really worked out. And then, I’ve heard the “almost-there-discouragement”, the “maybe I’m never going to get married” hopelessness come out. The “I’ve rounded too many curves in the road, only to discover that I wasn’t there yet to think this will happen” statements. And then, one day, they meet the love of their life. I’ve had lots of moments like this in my life. With jobs, with finances, with friendships, with weight loss…with all kinds of things. And yet, here I am again, battling the same old thoughts. The “I’m too tired for this and I’m not even sure if it’s worth it” thoughts. The “I’ve been climbing for so long and it feels like I’ve gone backwards” feelings. Yep. This is a life-long thing for all of us. And yet, if we can just hold on to those moments where we finally rounded the bend and saw the light…then we can remind ourselves to just keep going. We may be tired, we may feel like giving up…but that THING we’ve been waiting for may be one single step away. We don’t know, we just have to keep going!
Summer can feel like a discouraging season to me. Sounds odd, I know, but I kind of get weirdly depressed when I am too hot to wear what I like to wear! So I’m trying to make due, and remember that fall is just around the corner. Before I know it, I’ll be back in my velvet pants and robes and all that madness! Until then, I’m trying to be comfortable in mini dresses and shorts! I’m not compromising on the boots though. Those stay with me year round 🙂
Now you know my true feelings on hiking. Well, they were gonna come out sooner or later…
Happy weekend to you all!