Monday, July 28, 2014

Braving New Adventures & Learning to Carry a Lighter Rack

I should probably explain the title before I begin to ramble like I do. For those of you who do not climb, specifically trad/alpine climb, let me explain a few details about the sport so you understand the analogy as it applies to my present journey.

A rack is the collection of protection you use on a climb. Each climb requires a different amount and type of protection. When you set out for a long alpine climb you have to consider how much protection you will need and how much of that protection you can do without.  The goal is to only carry with you the necessary pieces so that you can move quicker and be more efficient. The gamble is leaving some pieces behind - although you know you probably won't need them and you rarely ever use them on this type of climb - there's always the slight chance these pieces could come in handy - then what? More then anything it's about the security of having too much because of the fear and challenge of not having what you think you need. 

This morning I began to pack boxes of belongings as I prepare to move in a month or less. I'm going through my closets and cupboards finding myself faced with the decision, do I take this with me or do I leave it behind? I'm moving in with a friend who owns a home about a half hour from Boulder in Golden. It's a beautiful location and will offer a lot of new benefits such as a shorter commute to work and to climbing areas, access to a garden by walking out my back door, and the company of new roommates who can share life experiences and lessons with me. It's exciting and it's very scary. I like my apartment now, I like when and how and where I commute to. I like my roommate. I like where all my things are. I've been in this apartment for four years now and it's a place of security for me. So why move? Well my current roommate is branching off on a new adventure and getting married. I can't afford to live alone and at the same time I wasn't having luck finding someone to move in - actually I was hardly making an effort to look. I knew in my heart that it was time to branch off myself and seek a new adventure. I have learned a lot about myself and about the life I want these past four years of living in Broomfield. Now it's time to use that knowledge and move on to the next destination - one that offers new excitements and new uncertainties.  So what do I take and what do I let go of? It's like going from climbing in Boulder Canyon to climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park. I know the canyon and where I can go and what I need to take. It's easy to get to, it's low commitment/risk, and its very easy and acceptable to carry in too much gear - just say it's for weight training :) It's still a fun and enjoyable place to go, but maybe it's time to branch out and adventure somewhere new. Climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park is exciting but uncertain. It forces you to pack lighter and hone into the experiences you had in Boulder canyon and apply those lessons and skills to a new, bigger climb. One that will have you thinking more critically and creatively.  
This is why i have chosen to move to Golden. I could spend the rest of my life in this apartment but then I know I would be ever more complacent. i wouldn't grow - I would miss out on the chance to have new struggles and find new joys. It is exciting to be on the approach to a new adventure. You have a sense of what it looks like and may feel like, but you're not quite sure 100% of what the experience will bring. As I pack and prepare I find myself with the decision to let go of much of what I hold onto in my apartment now, I know I don't need it, I rarely use it - I need to learn to trust, have faith, and carry a lighter load. 

This doesn't just apply to my climbing or living situations - but I'm also finding it applies to my career and to my relationships. Let me start with career..

I made a significant leap of faith this summer by not working the extra few part time jobs I have these previous summers.  Owning a business and teaching doesn't bring in a lot of cash - I make my ends meet every month - but there's always that fear that eats at me of not having money. So instead of just trusting that the one or two jobs I have is enough, in the past I have had up for six or so jobs at one time. It's a lot to carry and I am very very tired - mentally, physically, and emotionally. So I let go and made the decision to keep the jobs that are necessary to continue on my adventure of my career, and leave behind the ones that aren't. Last week I had my first rejection from a possible client. Another tendency I have created is that I will go after any opportunity for a new client even if it doesn't always appeal to me in terms of production, content, or budget. In my head everything and anything is better then just a few or nothing... 
I didn't really want the production, but I was afraid of what would happen if I didn't take it. Would I regret it later down the road? Would it have saved something in my life? Probably not. But it's a constant concern. By not having it however I am more available to really focus on what I do have for projects without all the extra weight on my shoulders.   If I have learned anything in my five years of living on my own it's that I have never been without. And at the end of the day - or end of the month (bill time) - I always have what I need to get me through to the next day.. month.. etc. Take the protection you know you need and feel confident enough that you will get to the next pitch safely even it brings a little struggle. 

Relationships are a hard area to admit excess to, at least for me. I tend to want to hold onto every person that comes my way just in case..
What if I have no one to adventure with? What if I have no one to talk to? But as we move on in life relationships will inevitably change and sometimes you have to decide to leave some behind. Carry with you the ones who have always been there, the vital pieces you always know you can fall on and will get you through the new cruxes of life. Hold onto the few that promise more. It's ok to leave behind the pieces, or people, who have been great to you but aren't necessary to keep and carry forever. Feel free to have a lighter burden of who you give your heart to so that the few you do keep with you really have it. 
Security for me isn't a good thing. It really does convince me to cap where I'm going and what I want. Moving to Golden is my new adventure. And I'm going with a lighter load of materials, relationships, and jobs. I have a sense of what I need and I'm looking forward to being challenged to be creative and work with what I have for whatever may come of this new mountain. I am quite nervous about this all and very hesitant of what to pick and choose to take and what not to.  I am nervous about letting go of some relationships to free myself up for something better. I am nervous about not being overloaded with work and just being productive with a few projects. But I'm excited too for all of it. I know this is the right time to be adventuring out into some new areas. And challenges will come but so will pleasures. And I'm capable of continuing on with life and going for these new climbs with the essentials.
Its not always better to have more then less. (the battle of quantity versus quality). I want to know that mentally, emotionally, and physically I am ready and I don't need to burden and exhaust myself. And I do believe when I look back on this all I will be thankful I took only what I needed. 
And then there's times when you just want to leave all the gear at home and just head up the mountain with the company of a best friend.  Adventuring with Jess as she & I both anticipate our own new adventures in life. 

Seize every day as an adventure and your spirit 
will soar when you discover the wonderful 
surprises life has to offer