The Long Way

I don’t know who said it, but I need it printed on a t-shirt, bumper sticker, and a coffee mug please.  Fairly certain my picture should be right there with it as well.

I am the QUEEN of mistakes. Stupid mistakes. Silly mistakes. Totally avoidable mistakes.

You would think with each mistake I would learn…but I don’t.

Maybe it’s because my aunt dropped me on my head in the grocery store when I was a 2 year old. Maybe it was because I sat on my family’s kerosene heater when I was 5 and burned my fanny. Perhaps it was the piece of coal my friend’s brother threw at my head when I was 12. Or….maybe….I am just a little dense and Learning  things the hard way, seems to be the only way that works for me.

One would think I would learn to keep gas in my car after having it run out a couple of times.  One would think…. but NOPE, I like living on the edge, and I push it to the last mile each time.

Repeatedly, I set myself up to learn valuable lessons… the hard way.

Why is it that I just can’t seem to catch on to what is going on?  Why must crazy, hard things happen to me in order for me to wake up?

I used to think that something was wrong with me. Clearly, I had a problem if it took a building crashing upon me, to receive the message.

Take this past weekend for example…. I have been actively hiking for a while now. I would even consider myself a pretty skilled and knowledgeable hiker. I know what needs to go in my pack, and I know what I don’t need to carry as well. Every single hike I have been on has been…well…. perfect. Things have gone the way they should, and I have never had something go wrong….. until this past Saturday.

I was doing a simple 15 mile hike. It was really not that difficult. I started out strong and cocky. Seriously… I thought I was pretty hot stuff. Especially when I saw people only doing a third of what I was doing.  Clearly I was the pro…. they were the beginners.

Oh how I still have so much to learn!  What should have been a light hearted hike back down the mountain, ended up being the most difficult, and terrifying hike of my life. Due to weather and an injury to my friend, what should have been a hike that ended at around 6:30 didn’t end until 10pm. I had NEVER night hiked before. I don’t EVEN own a headlamp. Luckily my hiking companions did. They were prepared where I wasn’t.

I let my cockiness and trust in my own abilities keep me from truly respecting these mountains and their power. Clearly I was not amazing. I still have much to learn about hiking and being in the wilderness.

I used to look at the mistakes and hiccups I made as failures, but I have come to realize that without them, I would NEVER learn. Yes, I mess up….ALOT. And yes… sometimes it takes being stuck in the middle of the woods at night in complete darkness, to get my attention.  But each and every mistake, failure, and hiccup has been a stepping stone. A step to making me just a little bit better.

Of course I am probably going to be arrogant and cocky when I hit the trail again this weekend, and I am more then likely going to do something stupid and totally ignorant by bedtime this evening. But I am not a failure or ignorant. I am merely a seeker on a journey…..sometimes it just takes me going the long way to figure it out.

 Discover Challenge
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2 thoughts on “The Long Way

  1. I think the thing to focus on is the end result of your adventures through life Jess..you didn’t fail at anything, you didn’t make mistakes. You LEARNED. and that my dear sweet friend, is the whole point of waking up each day. enjoy your next hike.

    Liked by 1 person

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