Where is this big world I used to know so well? Where is adventure, achievement, a challenge worth attempting?
Where are my friends? Where are those kindred spirits who long for deep connections, deep experiences, truth, and adventure?
My routine has become disjointed, too busy with law school to breathe, too busy trying not to stress about my summer. It gets closer, and my plans still hang in limbo. I have again reached outside of the ordinary to try a new approach. It has yielded little results. But I fear I must approach the very precipice of my own destruction before I turn away.
I have come too far to give up now.
I am down this morning.
Last night, I wrapped myself in an old blanket and shivered myself to sleep. I didn't want to close the window. The air was too fresh, and oh how I have missed fresh air. I slept alone which is probably for the best. Too many times, I get close to the wrong people. Too many times I get close to people who are on some different path, and we must always part. Many times, I wake up and would like to see a family. Instead, I see my alcoholic roommate shuffling around recovering from his latest lonely bout of drinking. He is not a good conversationalist. A bitter law student, nearly every conversation turns into him trying to prove he is right on a topic, but I fear he rarely is. So I turn to him as I pass to leave and say something generic like, "Hey, have a good day today." It keeps it positive, but let's him know I am not really in the mood for conversation (at least not with him).
My life has become a series of small connections with many people. I work on legal research or my studies during the day. Sometimes, when I close my eyes I can still see the glow of fire against the swaying trees, the silhouette of rocky shores, Curt and Al strumming their guitars. Or I see the red crimson cliffs of Zion as I ascend downward into a slot canyon slipping down into the water, disconnecting my rappel and slowly treading to the other side. I look up and a tiny slit of blue stands above towering red sandstone cliffs on each side. It is like caving without the claustrophobic tightness. I see the gray Eastern sandstone as I ascend up a rock wall. I see my friends around a table for dinner. I see many old faces filled with laughter. I see a community.
My life is better for these memories. Yet it is a curse all the same. I truly miss feeling connected. I long for some stability in my life, and I long for a family. I long for beauty and poetry. I long for talking about the finer things, and I long for those days when I didn't fear the future so much. I felt on a path, and I felt wise for being there. Now I feel like I got lost somewhere along the way, and all this was a horrible mistake. I have lost friends, loved ones, experiences, and family. Yet, I still cannot stop.
On any given day, you'll see me laughing, making light of a situation, and saying that everything is OK. Why? Because if I continue downward all day: I will never see the canyon walls of Zion; I'll never be able to introduce children to the wilderness; I'll never hear another jovial strum around a campfire; I'll never hold one woman's hand into the future forever; I'll never be able to connect to my family; I'll never get out of this hell I've stepped into.
So I will find ten reasons to laugh today. I will find a reason to run or climb. I will find a reason to make someone's day better.