Today I stood in the middle of my life and began to thoroughly take stock, as if leaving on a life-long expedition that I may or may not return from. Pondering what was dispensable and what was worth keeping, it began to dawn on me that while every present moment is the culmination of the seconds previously lived – stretching back into an irreversibly finite tract of time – the future is fluid, precarious, and uncertain, its degree of happiness and fulfillment wholly predicated on decisions made today.
I have come to terms with the irrefutable fact that my life will never be ‘settled’ in the eyes of others. I will never marry and raise children. With a lifetime relationship dedicated to one person comes compromises that I am unwilling to make, and I am at peace with that decision. My desires lie outside of the ordinary – but they are not enough. To climb the mountains of the world takes years of skill and practiced patience, coupled with raw intuition and learned behaviour. It also takes time and money – neither of which I have in sufficient amount to realize the fullest extent of my most ambitious dreams. And so it starts small – short excursions to local treasures when the weather allows, short sessions on the climbing wall between classes, and the constant challenge of carving out small niches of time during this chosen career.
My desire to climb will not make it so, but fortifying that desire with the tangible results of the little things done every day in pursuit of that goal will be my strongest asset. It’s not about conquest or a picture atop a summit – it’s about the journey taken in getting there.