Friday, March 28, 2008
"Not All Who Wander are Lost"
I have the above quote all over the place... in my email signature, on my computer, on my frig, and so on. I had discovered it last summer, when my life was at a bit of a crossroads. So much had taken place: my weight loss, layoff from my job, dad's illness and death, graduate school, my aunt's death and all the chaos that ensued, even more deaths of friends... you get the drift, it's a long list that seems to continue to grow.
That list of changes made me evaluate what exactly is important to me and how I not only view life, but live it. And in the process I found this quote and I latched onto it with all my heart. Most people who read it assume it's all about hiking, the love of the outdoors and that feeling of being far away from civilization. That was part of my attraction to it, but that was only a small portion.
I remember my friend Robert asking me "What are you passionate about?" And I smiled when he asked that, because I honestly had no idea. There are lots of things in my life that you could say I love to do: climb, hike, run, spend time with family and friends, school, and so on. But to hone in on one thing that I am passionate about? Nope. And that doesn't really bother me - I know that at this time in my life I am wandering around, with no idea of what is in the future. And for the first time in my life, I am ok with that. It doesn't matter what my career is, how successful or important I am or how much money I have, all that matters is that I am at peace with my decisions and my life. The passionate part? That will come someday.
When everything in your life is turned upside down; when nothing seems to make sense anymore; when you feel like your life has no purpose; that's when you find out who you really are and where you are headed. I found out that with my wanderings, whether on a mountain or in some other sense, there was a purpose to my life. It just didn't fit the regular parameters that I had set for myself in the past.
And all the changes? Not really so bad. If I hadn't experienced them, I would of never gone back to school; I wouldn't of been able to spend those last few, precious months with dad; I wouldn't of reconnected with old friends who meant so much to my life in the past and mean even more now; and I wouldn't have found out that I have a love of the outdoors that surprises not only me, but most who know me.
"Not all who wander are lost."
I'm a wanderer, and I honestly don't know when that may change. But my wandering has led me to do so many things I never imagined doing and right now I like that - it may not make me tons of money or make me famous, but I can guarantee I will never be bored.