The older I get. The more experienced I feel, and the farther I travel, the more I feel like I grow even farther away from figuring life out.  One thing I’ve come to realize is that life is a series of ups and downs and you’ve got to learn to traverse the valleys and enjoy the summits.  At almost 23 I haven’t even lived a quarter of my potential life span, and yet a single day can still get me down.  A single person, a single action can affect my entire day, or my entire week, or linger even longer.  I get all wound up around a single thought, but then I realize; the rest of my life will be filled with these, day in and day out I will be dealing with people coming and going in my life, problems arising, and problems being solved.  It’s thoughts like that which ease my mind.  Whatever I’m dealing with now, will be minuscule in a year, if I even remember why I’m upset.  Once you realize that, you can wash away the stresses and traverse your valley.

I’m constantly looking ahead in life and wondering how my life will look in ten years and whether or not I’ll be happy.  It always seems to sway in multiple directions.  Sometimes I see future Reed the same as I am today.  Working for enough money to travel for a while, still feeding a lifestyle and finding myself pitted on a few crimpers hundreds of feet up some rock face.  That future Reed sleeps alone on the couches of his happily married friends though, and while that future Reed is happy there’s always doubts to every choice in life.  Other times I picture future Reed waking up in a warm bed, to an alarm clock set to the same time every day.  The face of a pretty girl sleeping next to him as he goes through the motions of his morning.  The kids get their breakfast and catch the bus just in time for him to drive to the same job he did the day before, only to look forward to the pretty face he woke up next to.  The happiness of his life lying in his family instead of his endeavors.  That Reed looks really happy too, but what are his doubts?

kid bus stop

All those ups, all those downs, all that experience, all that traveling, all that growing all revolves around sacrifices.  Coming to terms with which sacrifices are worth making is turning out to be the hardest thing about life.  However life turns out for me, whether I’m holding little hands at the bus stop every day or I’m hitting the approach trail at sunrise every day, somewhere along the line I’m going to have to make a sacrifice that will change future Reed to present Reed.