The act of climbing a mountain is often compared to the journey of life. Sure, it’s an overused metaphor, but yesterday as I made the one mile hike to the top of Stone Mountain, I truly understood why this comparison is so often used.
When I began my walk, my main goal was making it to the top. I found myself in a bit of a rush to get there, but I realized that I needed to slow down and enjoy the entire journey rather than simply focusing on reaching the final destination. I find that I am like this in my life as well. I’m very goal-oriented, and sometimes I get so lost in thinking about the future and achieving my goals that I forget the importance of remaining present and enjoying every moment.
After I realized that I needed to slow down, I gave myself permission to take as many breaks along the way as I needed. I try to give myself the same permission to take breaks in life as well. Sometimes you just need to stop and rest, or disappear for a while to catch your breath and get your head together.
As I continued my walk, I reached a cluster of slippery stones and almost lost my footing. This moment was comparable to making mistakes in life. I am always the first to admit that I am far from perfect. I have made and will continue to make mistakes throughout my personal journey, but the most important thing to do is to learn from your mistakes, recover, and keep going.
As I neared the top of Stone Mountain, there were a couple of times in which I thought I had reached the top, only to look up and see that there were many yards left to go. This reminded me of the times in which I thought I had reached an end goal only to find that there was another step that I needed to complete, or a higher level that I needed to reach.
For example, when I earned my undergraduate degree, I thought I was done with school forever, but I eventually realized that I wanted to keep going and earn my masters. I have had the experience of dating people that I thought were the one for me only to realize that maybe the universe had someone better lined up. Currently, I am searching for the answer to the question of whether or not the city of Atlanta is a final destination for me, or just a resting stop along the way.
Throughout my walk up the mountain, the most important thing to me was to keep going, no matter how difficult it seemed. I apply the same motivation to my journey in life. I have been through so much throughout my journey, but there has been nothing that has been able to break me. I’ve had my moments in which I have slipped and fell hard or needed emotional and physical breaks, but I have always preserved. I am always able to get back up and keep going.