“So wear your strongest posture now,
and see your hardest times
are more than just
the times you fell
but a range of mountains
you learned to climb.”
This weekend, I went back to North Carolina.
My trip was to visit a dear friend of mine, Becky. On the way back from a hiking trip, we found ourselves back in the town where I lived for four years. My heart ached the moment we drove into city limits, and I found myself wanting to rewind time.
For months now, I’ve held onto this poetic notion that someday, I’ll make my way back to North Carolina. Then, and only then, will I be happy. I’ll rekindle the love I found for North Carolina and remind myself all over again of the reasons I grew to call it home. But as I’ve learned over the last year, love comes and goes. It doesn’t always last forever and sometimes, you have to let it go.
But this dream of mine, the one where I end up back in the Carolinas – maybe it’s not the answer. I’m beginning to wonder if North Carolina was just a chapter in my life. One I need to turn the page on to continue reading and writing the story of my life.
I’ve always been a control freak. I make a plan and I stick to it. And my plan was to find my way back to North Carolina. Somehow, someday. In addition, I’ve been a passionate person, throwing myself into things with everything in my soul. Whether that’s love for something or someone, a project, a belief, or a goal. But I’ve also found that having too much passion for something can be damaging. Becky suggested that maybe I don’t need to give up on my dream entirely, but simply loosen my grip.
Maybe she’s right.
Our earlier hiking trip was through Hanging Rock State Park. We reached the peak of a beautiful cliff overlooking the mountains; I really wanted to get a photo from the classic “Hanging Rock” illusion. As I dangled from the rock, I used all of the strength I had to hold onto the ledge. My grip to the rock was so tight, pain began to run through my fingers and hands, but I knew couldn’t let go. I’d hiked to the top for the chance to take the photo, and I wasn’t going to just give up; but holding on as tight as I could, I also knew I wouldn’t last much longer. So I changed my position and loosened my grip. From there, I could enjoy the view.
I don’t have to let go of North Carolina completely. But instead of trying to rewind time and find my way back there, maybe I should focus on other goals and things I’m passionate about in my current life. By focusing on the present, I can see where life takes me instead of living in the past. I can begin writing a new chapter, and maybe even fall in love with a new place.