I think the biggest process in life is the finding and embracing who we are. How often do we find ourselves in situations that just aren’t for us? If you’re like me, maybe more often than you’d prefer.
It’s not to say we have a bad time, but that there are just situations that aren’t really positive. For me, lately, I’ve been really enjoying driving up alone and meeting my adventure buddies wherever we’re adventuring instead of driving up together. I need that time to check in with myself. I need that space so that I can be a better version of me.
I’m typing this on my phone in a tent at the base of Mount Langly in Lone Pine. I chose this because over a period of time I’ve found it’s my equation. In a sense it’s the opposite of acceptance, because instead of accepting a situation of shared space, I’ve disregarded it because it’s just not for me right now. Why should I accept a situation that compromises my being?
There’s nothing wrong with the people. It’s just that I get anxious. I got in to town early today because I wanted to get a feel for the mountains alone. I was worried about altitude, so I wanted the freedom to roam up to higher elevation before the climb. I’m learning to accept myself and embrace what style suits me. I also don’t want to be stuck without a car at base camp eight miles from Whitney Portal in the 100 degree sun on the desert floor.
The result of my showing up early and alone is that I scored the permits that I was going to forego, and got to run around the Whitney Portal trails at my pace focused on my objectives. I have my car and can go to and fro as I please. I can roll around in my tent without worrying about disturbing the person next to me. Ultimately, I can just be, and I can deal with this moment and solve my problems on my terms.
I had that problem with my entire life once. My values and how I spent my time were not aligned with who I am. I was so miserable it made my bones ache. I changed everything, slowly, over a period of time until one day I noticed a constant grin. I was happy. I stopped trying to adapt to situations that were obviously bad fits, and instead transformed my life into something I’m grateful for.
Tonight feels like it’s going to be a long night, and I’m glad that I get to process it alone.
Right when I finished writing that last line a few nights back a car pulled up into my site, and a few hours later another, and my inner turmoil began to stir. I’m glad I took my car, because I needed the reprieve the next day. Next time I’ll just make sure to drive my car separate to the trail head we’re hiking out of, so when I find myself surrounded by idiots I can just go my own way back to camp and not rely on somebody else with the keys.
We live. We learn. C’est la vie.