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When Life Gets in the Way

Colter Bay Grand Teton National Park

There’s not a feeling more unpleasant and unsettling than the one I experienced only seconds ago.  I received my first email reminder from the servicer of my college loans.  “Only 3 months till repayment begins,” it announced in a bright green, almost cheerful font.   “Join now to see your balance.”  Surprise surprise, after creating an account to see what I owe , I’ve come to realize that it’s far more than I’d previously anticipated.  I’ve already accrued nearly $2,000 in interest and that’s $2,000 more than I was already expecting to pay.  Gentleman in the audience can identify with that physical pain in your gut after you’ve been ripped square in the balls, and for you ladies out there, just try to imagine that pain.  It’s hard to believe that reading typed words in an email bore a very real and physical pain, but it did. That dark feeling persisted as I looked on at the zeros punctuating my account.  Add that to the fact that my check engine light came on recently with what I believe to be a transmission problem (perhaps another $2-3,000 in estimated repairs).  All in all, I’ve just received a solid roundhouse to the face by my new friend called life.  I guess this must be the “reality check” that those with experience have always alluded to.  The same one that my father spoke of when I told him of my dreams of travel.  Maybe someday you’ll grow up he said, half joking but with a sprinkle of honesty only decades of wisdom could provide.

I don’t know what I’m to do and, to be honest, I’m nervous.  I’ve put aside a life pursuing money for a life pursuing freedom, spontaneity, and fond memories.  I have so many hopes and dreams that I NEED to accomplish.  These goals are literally what define me as a person and to not pursue them would leave me as a shell of who I ought to be.  However,putting these things off in the interest of financial freedom is looking more and more like a necessary evil rather than a choice that can be made and life is pushing desperately to steer me back into it’s current.  Perhaps I’m not paddling fast enough to continue pushing upstream and I knew early on that this wouldn’t be easy, but Jesus.

Maybe I’m naive, but for the moment I am going to continue pressing onward.  Perhaps I’m courageous for escaping the confines of a drone addled society by battling for what I want.  Perhaps I’m ignorant and will soon be defeated by life’s blows.  I don’t have the answer yet and only time will tell I suppose.  I simply know one that I need to fight for what I want in life and I’ve made the decision that I’ll take this road till the wheels fall off.  I still hold fast to achieving my goals come hell or highwater and I’m announcing now that beyond the shadow of a doubt, I WILL BE SUMMITING MT. KATAHDIN EARLY NEXT FALL after 2,100 miles on the Appalachian Trail.  Life, money, or lack of ambition will not be stopping me.  Nothing worthwhile was ever easy and this isn’t the first time I’ve ever had to fight for something I want, but it is the first time I’m doing it on my own.

In times of strife I’ll often find strength and inspiration in music.  These lyrics have always been a tool to help get me through hard times such as these, so I thought I would take a moment to share them with you.

“What the hell will happen now?”

“I really don’t know man.”

“We’ll do what we’ve always done.  Shut our eyes and hope for the best.”

No! We’re gonna face this and step out onto the tracks.  Stare this right in the face, though shall not pass!”  Juggernauts by Enter Shikari

While some might tell me to do what is expected and fall back in line, I’m going to face this head on and look this obstacle right in the face.  I will not submit, I will not falter, and I will press on.  In the words of my friend, and natural pro bodybuilder Ryan Doris, I’m gonna wipe my tears, and grind this shit.

I know I’m not alone.  What events have gotten in between you and your goals?  What did you do to break through the wall and achieve what you set out to do? 

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. I was a single mother for a long, long time – worked three jobs and attended college full-time while simultaneously raising my daughter and paying tens of thousands into legal bills. For a few years, I had to make compromises with the universe: instead of a week-long vacations, I agreed to a handful of weekend jaunts to new cities with friends, friends who also brought their children and went halfsies on Red Roof Inn hotel rooms so we could explore Asheville or Charleston or Savannah. It was a lot more fun than I expected.

    Don’t stop traveling – consider this as having to make a compromise with the universe. You’ll still be able to satiate your desire to experience new things, just not the new things you had planned on – these are NEW new things. Good luck.

    August 13, 2013
    • Wow, I admire your courage and want to commend you on raising your daughter with all these forces working against you.

      That’s a great point you bring up on finding middle ground. As it stands, I want to take a round the world trip but with these financial setbacks, perhaps I’ll have to “compromise with the universe” as you mentioned. Maybe 2 months at a time in a new country will be more manageable than an entire year of travel. In time, we’ll see how it all works out for me.

      On another note, you experienced some of my favorite places on your travels! I’ve been to Charleston and Asheville numerous times and I just can’t get bored of them!

      August 13, 2013

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