Sunday, September 12, 2010

on teleportation and hiking

Yesterday I drove by a place called Susquehanna Scenic Vista or something like that, and I just had to check it out. As it turns out, it was basically a big hill, and it ran through the mason dixon trail. The main walkway to get to the top snaked around the hill, which I didn't think made all that much sense. I figured that going straight up would save a lot of time and energy, seeing as it wasn't really that steep, but I followed the winding path anyway. It was a fun adventure to go on, and it made me realize that hiking isn't really about the scenic vista at the top. On the walk, I got to see some horses and some really big mansions that I wouldn't have gotten to see if I had just taken a straight path up the hill. Adventures are really all about the journey and not the destination. It would be boring if you could just get straight to the top right away.

I mean I understand that whole "it's the climb" philosophy, but I've never really been convinced. I'm more of a destination kind of girl. I think that's why the idea of teleportation always excited me so much. My friend Molly and I used to pretend that we had watches that could teleport us to anywhere and any time period we wanted to go to. I like that. I just thought the value of the journey was overrated. Let's just get there already! Who really needs to learn something along the way? Not me.

I recently read that it takes most people 10 years after college to get settled into the perfect job. Do you know how miserable that sounds to me? 10 whole years?! So by the time I pay off the college loans, THEN I'll find the right job. Great. You see, when I was in high school, I told my English teacher that I wanted to be a lawyer, and she said that I should go to Lebanon Valley College and major in English. And since I'm not much of a decision maker, that's what I did. I just wanted a straight and narrow path. I didn't want to change my mind halfway through college and have to stay an extra semester or two to finish. So when I decided I didn't want to be a lawyer anymore, I didn't consider changing my major to something else. I don't think I ever would have because I love English, but it's not the most clear cut major. It's not accounting or elementary ed, that's for sure. I do love literature, and I had a fantastic time discussing it during college... but now I'm a waitress. And apparently this is part of the journey. And apparently I can't just go straight up the hill and get to the destinations right away, like publishing a best-selling book, getting married, having a baby. Sometimes I wish I could just teleport to those places instead of living this incessant "climb."

But when I think about it, what really is the destination? Isn't publishing a best-selling book and getting married still just part of the journey? I guess life is a journey in itself, and it's not like you get somewhere and then stop and enjoy the view forever. That would be boring, too. The story doesn't end when you get to the top of Mt. Everest; you still have to climb down. And I imagine that once you get to the bottom, you start thinking about your next adventure. No hiker or mountain climber would want to just teleport to the top. What would be the point of that?

In  my life, I'm craving adventure so much. It's not actually those destinations that I crave. So I want to start focusing on living an adventure and enjoying the view at each step because I think that if I'm always just waiting to get to the destination, I'm never going to be happy. Teleportation would be awesome because I'd probably zap myself to Paris right now or maybe Vietnam or 2005. But since teleportation doesn't exist, and all we have is the journey of here and now, I'm just going to keep walking and keep seeking adventures.

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