This will not be the first time we have packed our stuff up and headed out into the great blue yonder searching for adventure. So why does it feel different?
In times past we sallied forth from our home in NY which was the “hub” of our wheel which would always be there for us to come back to. Family was there. Friends were there. Old work connections were there. Home was there.
I have lived for all of my 29 years in Orange County NY. Stefanie has been here for about the last 10 years of her life. This year has been one of upheaval, of discomfort–of change. Relatives dying, moving away, work drying up, friends moving on with their lives and suddenly, like a fart in a gale of wind, the hub is gone and all the strands of our life are dangling and blowing in the wind like tattered curtains masking a shattered window pane.
I am aware that to many people reading this, it may sound very self indulgent to dwell on these facts. “Dude, you’re going on a sick vacation! What’s not to like?!”
That’s sort of true–although true adventure feels much more like hard work at the time and the “vacation” feel usually is more of an aftertaste…not having a place to come back to, (not just in terms of a physical dwelling, but even in terms of belonging in this area) makes the process of pulling up stakes for what will be the last time here a lot more emotional–a lot more committing.
Also, having to leave our precious fat little Mr Kitty behind will leave a void that will be nagging at every turn.
Literally everything is up in the air. No idea where we will land after Project 365. All of the prior trips I have taken have shown me that adventure without the people to share that adventure with afterwards can be a very futile pursuit. Without going into excruciating detail, there are a lot of ‘what ifs’ that are written into the fine print here and many of them have dark and sinister implications.
So why voluntarily do this? I wish I had a good answer to that question–for myself and for you who read this.
The best I can say for myself is that I can’t not do this.
I have felt my life’s path leading me to this precipice for many years. I am aware of the risks. I am aware of the costs–and that is the point of this ranting. How could I responsibly venture off like this without really squaring the price with the potential outcomes?
Without the dissolution of our comfort zone we would never be desperate enough to try something this outlandish–and in the words of RFK, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly”. Those of our relatives who have passed away recently were always supportive of our oddball, adventurous habits–and we honor them by embracing the path that they helped us learn to walk upon as small children. Hard work builds character. We will definitely have a lot of character as a result of this process.
Sharing this adventure is paramount to everything else–and there are amazing connections we have made even at this point, as well as re-connections with people from our past who we had fallen out of touch with. And Mr Kitty…well…he will be one more reason to be humble in the mountains and a necessary and nagging reminder that the summit is optional, while returning to the bottom is mandatory.
People want to see adventures in bold colors–action, agony, extremes and power. I have great confidence that we will all experience those things, right here for you who are following along, and out in the vertical world for you who join us. But the reality is that the shading, you know, all the “grays” are what lend the big picture its depth.
There is a lot on the line here. I have counted the cost. I know what I have just put the “downpayment” on.
So let’s go hard because we can’t go home.