Author’s note: this post was originally written in March 2015 and has been sitting in my drafts since then. Apologies to those who enjoy timeliness to their stories.
It’s not everyday that you experience a perfect metaphor for your life, but when I was in Bali last month that very thing happened to me.
My friend Tanysha and I went on a hike up Mt Batur to see the sun rise. We left Kuta at 2 a.m. (yes, you read that right) and it started pouring. Fan-freaking-tastic.
We started climbing close to 4 a.m. wearing very attractive plastic ponchos – that I removed after about 15 minutes because it felt like I was dying in a greenhouse.
Just before we hit halfway up I was reminded just how fit I was when a 70 year old man overtook me. Hmm. This was not helped by the fact that the rest of the way up was ridiculously steep. For the next hour and a half (it felt like MUCH longer) I struggled up the mountain – having to stop every five minutes because I couldn’t breathe. It was like having multiple anxiety attacks. More than once I thought I would vomit.
At this point I should nominate Tanysha and our tour guide for medals for being so patient with me.
I wanted to give up and lie down and not go any higher. I wanted to go back to my comfy bed at the hotel and sleep. But I didn’t – with the help and encouragement from Tanysha and the tour guide I (very slowly) made it to the top. It was the greatest physical challenge I can ever remember accomplishing.
Just as I was about to celebrate my victory the skies opened up once again and released a giant downpour. Just give me a break already!
So, here’s my metaphor…
Each one of us is climbing our own volcano. There are many obstacles put in our path, but we have to take them one step at a time.
It is so much easier having someone supportive to encourage you during these times.
When you get to the top, there may be a downpour, but that doesn’t change the fact that you climbed it. It doesn’t matter if someone else climbed faster or higher or didn’t sweat the entire time – you accomplished something!
I climbed a physical volcano (an act I will probably never try again), now it’s time to take on the mental ones.It will take significantly longer, but if I keep moving forward, no matter how slowly, I aim to reach the top – and so should you.