This was written in notepad while waiting for a connecting flight Wednesday. It is being posted now that I have an internet connection again. Enjoy! :-)
I have a new goal...I want to go back to Colorado and hike the Hanging Lake Trail again, I want a second shot at it! You see Hanging Lake is supposed to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state, but there's a catch to seeing it. You have to hike a trail that is classified as difficult, 1.2 miles long one way, and practically a sheer rock face! No that is not a joke, it really is steep and rocky! As a matter of fact the trail climbs over 1000 feet! This was one of those things that I really wanted to do, I had been told by so many people that it was a must see that I made it a point to drive the two hours out of the city to go and see it. I chose a bad day to go though. The rain was setting in the mountains and just like in the Ohio Vally, it hangs there. By the time I arrived it was misting, but I wanted to give it a good shot, so even after looking at the trail and panicking a little, I began up the hill. I almost quit several times. I was feeling nauseous, out of breath, my heart was pounding, and the rain was picking up. I had tripped several times because my jeans were hanging low and were catching on my shoes, I banged the crud out of my big toe (toenails grow back, right?), I had to hike back a ways because I dropped my glasses and didn't notice till I had traveled up the trail a bit, and quite a few groups of hikers passed me going up. I just couldn't give up though. I remember passing the 1/4 of a mile marker and thinking, "really that's it?!". Everyone that passed me going back down though kept encouraging me and telling me that it would be worth it. I didn't make it though, the rain began to pick up about an hour and a half into the trip, and only about 3/4 of a mile up. I don't have health insurance, and as the path began to get slicker I began to realize I really shouldn't go on, I still had to hike down. If I thought that hiking up was bad, hiking down was worse! Wet rocks, and mud made the journey fairly bad, but it was the only way to get down. So I turned around, I didn't want too, but knew that I needed too. I was really proud of myself for going as far as I did, but I also felt like a bit of a failure because I didn't get all the way there.
"All good things come to those who wait.". I don't remember who said it, but I disagree. Good things in life take time and you have to keep working on them. You see it takes time to get to a point where you are experienced enough to hike a trail that is classified as difficult, it takes time to lose weight and feel comfortable sitting in a plane seat with someone next to you, and it takes time to learn what happiness is! I will get to the point where I am able to hike a difficult trail, I am discovering that I am more comfortable in a plane seat than I was, but still have some room to go, and it took me 28 years before I learned what happiness is, and I will be working on that for a very long time so that I can keep it! All good things in life are a process, yes you have to work to get them, no one is just going to hand it too you, but you have to maintain them as well once you've gotten it. Good thing aren't just going to come and stay once you get them. I will always have to exercise and watch what I eat to remain a healthy weight, I will always have to monitor when I'm beginning to sink into a depression (with some help from my friends too), and to maintain my new better state I will have to always keep my balance in check. All good things in life don't just happen because you waited, they take time and work.
I' m sitting on a plane at LAX right now that is being held at the gate because of technical problems. People are moaning and groaning, and I must admit that I am a little frustrated, but a year ago I would have been mad, now I just realize that it is giving me more time to think about this trip and what I really am trying to get out of it. I said that this was a job hunt, and that is still true, but as I've explored Colorado I've discovered that this is also a soul searching endeavor. For being the daughter of a preacher I've struggled with my faith for some time now. Believe it or not most of us PK's have more difficult with the church than those not affiliated with the church. You see we've seen the down and dirty, the good the bad and the ugly of the church. We also often have a lot of expectations placed on us because of who we are. We're the child of the pastor, we should be at church every Sunday, and be a part of everything related to the church according to some people. The truth is that we struggle too, just like everyone else.
When my grandmother passed away rather suddenly it was a shock to my family. She hadn't told us that she was sick again so when we got a call that she was in the hospital and had been for several days, we were surprised to say the least. Within 48 hours of the family being notified, she had passed away. We were all there by her side as she passed, but it was shocking to know that the woman who I had visited only days before, and had conversations with was no longer there. I had a lot of anger at the situation, and a lot of anger at God. A good friend of mine had been fighting cancer for as long as I had known him. He was only in his twenties when he passed away. His family had sent a text message to everyone in his phone that simply said that he had passed away earlier that day. I was standing in Target looking at clothes when I read the message. I went into a corner and began to cry. I quickly checked out and went to my car where I called some other friends who knew him and told them what I knew. When I finally got home I literally ran to my mother and began to sob. He had been working for the local cancer society, he was active in the community, he was too young, and he was my friend. How could God let this happen? Finally good friends had been laid off work, friends had miscarriages, and it seemed like my family couldn't catch a break with employment or relationships or happiness or any other number of things. How could a God who claims to be good allow all this to happen?! Now don't panic, I'm not going to get all religious on you, but there is a point to all of this. I hadn't realized how mad I have been at the world/God and for how long. The fact is that internalizing this anger for this long is like a poison, and is only going to hold me back and cloud what I want. If you can't see through the anger, you're never going to be able to look within yourself and find out what you really want.
So that is what I'm trying to do on this trip. I'm trying to look within myself, past the anger, past the depression, and find my place in this world again. Although some people thought it was odd that hiking, and sightseeing, and exploring were part of this trip. I must admit that looking at Rifle Falls, and climbing Hanging Lake Trail, and walking through Garden of the Gods made me feel closer to God, and more at peace than I have in a very long time! At Rifle Falls the word Love came out of my mouth for the first time in a long time that wasn't just an automatic response to family or friends. (By the way, I don't use that word often on purpose. I place a lot of meaning on that word so when I do say it people know that I'm serious about the meaning of it.). I have to admit that I fell in Love with Colorado, and that's a little scary, but I take that feeling seriously. Not every place I visit I fall in love with. San Francisco was nice, I liked Chicago, and anywhere in Texas can forget about it because I literally can't breathe in the state! The only place other than Colorado I've ever been too that I Loved was England, but moving there isn't all that easy. I do have to have a visa and without a job there that becomes difficult. Although I'm sure Portland is lovely, my expectations are high, and the same goes for North Carolina. Looking into myself right now, I see that Colorado is one of the only places that I felt at peace in, that I felt comfortable in, that I felt close to God in. Maybe that would change if I lived there, or maybe I need to take that as the sign that I've been looking for as to where I'm supposed to be.
So this has become way too long, and my flight is finally ready to get underway. As I search for my place in this world, and within myself please think about me in my travels. I must admit that technical problem with the plane makes me a little squeamish, and I'm a good flyer! Oh an if you know of any jobs in the Colorado area, send them my way please, lol. :-)