I stood on the balcony of the second-floor Colorado apartment I was staying in when I decided to have a real heart to heart with myself. I hoped that God was listening. Thinking about my life and the obstacles I was facing, I realized at 25 I was in a rough spot.
I was old enough to think things through before just jumping blindly, but I was still young enough to be impulsive. If not wisely watched, my impulses could take hold of me; putting me in a situation with both dangerous and undesirable outcomes.
I allowed myself to have a small pity-party. One that was long enough to slap me around but not so long that I could get depressed. So far, my adult life was not off to a good start. I had lost three toes to a lawnmower. I had possibly abandoned the only one person who truly loved me for who I am. I was working in a summer job that I knew wasn’t going to be enough for me to pay for school next year. I was thousands of miles away from my family, so if something did go wrong, I wasn’t easily assessable. And I felt like my education had bottomed out and I wasn’t on the correct career path. Yes, my life looked bleak at best.
“Okay,” I thought to myself, “that’s enough.”
I forced myself to think about all the good things in my life.
My family, while they did it with a back-handed compliment, supported me. The friends I’d made in college who had become a pseudo- brother/sisterhood (without the traveling pants) upon whom I could rely. The adventures I was having by trying new things like mountain biking on a trail next to a 200-foot cliff. I was experiencing life, albeit responsibly, and all it had to offer. I had met new friends from all over the country trying to figure out life the same way I was.
Riding the Greyhound bus, I was able to see places no one in my family would ever get to see. I met people on the bus who took me from my parent’s home in Pennsylvania all the way to school in Rexburg, Idaho. I experienced what it’s like to be perplexed about what to do when you don’t want to leave your stuff alone in a bus station, but I still had to pee. I learned just because someone didn’t look, or for that matter smell, like me it didn’t matter because we both had one thing in common: we were on a search for personal identity.
There will always be insurmountable obstacles to overcome.
Yes, many parts of my life were hard. Things like not knowing who I was, wondering if a job was the best choice, to things like wondering if a girl I had been eye flirting with for the last hour was really into me. Life has its mysteries.
The setting sun caught my attention. It shone brightly in my eyes. I had to turn away. I looked to my right at the open plains with its rolling hills and purple sky; then it hit me. Hard. Like a pro-wrestler slamming a 2×4 across the back of my neck. I looked back to the mountains and thought how there will always be insurmountable obstacles for us to overcome. And when we have overcome them, we will look to the fading past and only see the minor hills those problems were. I thought about how we will stand triumphant whether it be in this life or the next and how it might feel.
All through life every person will always need that one thing. The “one thing” with the power to always re-center them — bringing them back to the truth within. The “one thing” could be a religious book, an idol, a spouse, a child, or pet. It can literally be anything.