Sunday, September 6

The Seminary Diaries: everest

The other night on Grey's (a re-run, not a new-run, so no spoilers here) a few men were fighting for their lives on hospital beds after fighting for their lives on a trek up Mt. Everest.  Frostbitten, afraid, starving, and nearly without a pulse, four men had been rescued literally at the end of their ropes.  I know I don't only speak for myself when I say that hearing others talk about Mt. Everest inspires something inside of me.  It makes me wonder about climbing that beast of a mountain, fighting for my own life...training for months and maybe years, preparing my mind and body for the adventure and skill of a lifetime.  Sure, sure, there are some individuals who have done the trip a few times...alone...blind, but even once seems like the journey we all wonder about at least once.

Then, I look to my left where I have a blanket, hot tea, and the remote, and to my right, where one, two, or three little four-legged babies are curled up and snoring.  I remember that Everest is a pipe dream for this little lady.

It's much like the movie 'Wild' (which I have only seen once and question myself often if I'll see it again, simply because the powerful experience I had the first time seems like it may dwindle if I re-watch). What if I set out on a solitary trek, on a path, a road, a trail leading to the highest mountains and deepest valleys?  A formidable journey only spoken about in certain circles, and only accomplished by the most prepared or the strongest?  What would happen if I met those same obstacles and difficulties, only to find myself incredibly strong, incredibly prepared for life, and incredibly changed in every way possible?

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Many people ask, 'Are you crazy?' or say, 'Maybe you should slow down' on a daily and weekly basis.  My course load is hefty and my schedule is pinched to the minutes and seconds.  A typical day has at least one obligation, and the week seems to have more obligations than there is space for.  This is not to brag or to say I am a pioneer of sorts, others have gone before me and carved out a pattern, a trail, and some are venturing along the path with me.  However, for many classmates, a slower, more eased pace is preferable in order to enjoy life.  These classmates still makes plans, go to parties, and have holidays.

So, on days like yesterday and all of last week, when it seems like my emotions cannot be tamed and my stress causes bursts of tears and spirals of worry, I question and say the same things to myself.  'Why are you in a hurry?'  'Is this actually what you feel you are supposed to be doing?' 'Are you pleasing yourself or Him with this?'  Don't you worry, I have had tons of thoughts and ideas about my current "plan" and the speed at which I am employing it.

And then I remember those men on that mountain, that woman on the trail.  I remember how many times they probably laid down and yelled or cried and asked themselves why.  I remember how many times they swore they could not move another muscle, blink another eyelid...that this minute may be their death.  I remember how they had to dig down deep, deeper than ever before, and deeper than they knew possible to step forward, to push through the worry, fear, apprehension, doubt, and critics to keep going.

This school thing isn't just my education or a certificate to a career.  This school thing is my mountain, my solitary trail.  Sure, I often look around to see who is with me, try to pull my husband into it, too, but this school thing is my thing.  It's the thing that will push me harder and farther than anything else I've done.  It will ask me to dig deep and find strength, pain, and courage to keep moving.  It's the thing, the beast, that will not allow me to be the same person I was before I started.

Truthfully, I was not and am not the most prepared.  I did not learn how to study well, or get my shit together before I started.  I did not get the pack, the book, or the maps to bring with me.  I am also not the strongest.  I'm not the student with the 4-year traditional background, the clean moral history, or the largest biblical knowledge.  I'm just not the person you would peg or ask to join you for the climb.

But I do have this thing called grit--this drive to keep going, to make it through, to fight teeth and nail for the finish.  I've also got some rough edges, some extra pain, and protective barriers.  I have worked hard to make my way this far through life, and now it's time to let go of a lot of those tools.  So, I am here, on my mountain asking for the pain and unbearable obstacles.  Sure, there are lots of things in life which will change and shape me, ask me to grow, and give me new light and experiences.  But this one thing, this challenge, I believe, is the mountain and solitary trail I so desire, the trail I know will ask me to leave the old life behind and step into the new one. This is the mountain which will prepare me for all the other mountains I'm hoping to explore in life.

This is my Everest.



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