We are only given one chance to live, just as there are only one sun and one moon. However, the sun and moon have existed for around 4.6 billion years and will continue to exist for 5 billion more. The life of our planet’s energy source will long outlast our own personal lives, so find your purpose early and live it to the fullest.
Recently, on a hiking trip in Sedona, AZ, I was blessed to sit with my wife atop Bell Rock to watch the sunrise. I started thinking about my list of the reasons why I wanted to thru-hike the AT. Yes, the list was in my pocket, as I now carry my list with me everywhere I go. As the sun slowly rose over the mountains, providing light to a new day, I began to think about one of my reasons, “I need to unlearn who I’ve become, and learn who I want to be.”
“Unlearn who I’ve become”? Allow me to explain. As I began the process of “adulting” in my 20’s, life took me down a path of necessity. Things like work, parenting, responsibility, and social conformity seemed to consume my every step, and as the path narrowed, it lead to the safe route and the comfortable daily work-life routine. I was living The American Dream; new homes, new cars, promotions. I rose to the top of my career and became an expert in my industry, but was I really living the dream? Don’t get me wrong, working is important, but working in the corporate world had distracted me from my own personal thoughts, dreams, and freedoms. My life became for the good of the company goals and not for the good of myself and my family.
I somehow was also taught that to be successful, I needed to follow the path of what society and commercialism wanted me to be. Ever since the development of suburban America, we’ve been programmed to work hard, earn more, borrow more, and buy more. We are told that stuff, new stuff, expensive stuff, big stuff, makes you happy, and is the measuring stick for success. Hence the phrase, “Keeping up with the Joneses”. While I don’t think I ever officially entered that race, the anxiety, stress, expectations, and goals of others took its toll on me, and ultimately, it affected my health.
As the sun continued to rise in the sky, each minute a new picture was painted across the mountain, giving me hope that each step on the trail will provide me with an opportunity to unlearn who I’ve become so that I can open my heart, and my mind, and learn who it is that I want to be. You only have one moon, one sun, and one life. It’s never too late to inspire others and to live life with purpose, with our own personal purpose, and not our skewed image of The American Dream.
When I successfully thru-hike the Appalachian Trial I will Be_again.
|View from Bell Rock 11/14 @ 4360ft. as the Sun painted a new day on the surrounding landscape.|