As I described it last weekend, “I’m finally feeling stable, and now I just have to decide what to do with that.” The statement feels almost ironic in light of a few mistakes I’ve made lately, but seemingly in line with my previous post- the mistakes only reveal the necessity of further commitment to core values.
A few weeks ago, my good friend Chris invited me back to Alaska for another amazing trip on the north side of Denali National Park. This would not be technical climbing, but a true experience pushing our bodies packrafting and backpacking in deep wilderness. He sent me the maps a few days later, and I took a look at the bank account. I think this works- maybe it feels like a stretch, but these are the things that I do, and perhaps even more, that I live for. Monday night, I bought a plane ticket to Anchorage and started to dream of being up there again, in one of the great wild places.
Something was gnawing at me though- there was a doubt in my head, and something didn’t quite seem right. Tuesday night at band rehearsal, it hit me. I had committed to playing two gigs during the time I had just booked in Alaska. The gigs were already booked- I had already committed to my friends and bandmates. Chris’ dates were firm, so I was out of luck (fortunately AlaskaAir’s cancellation policy is relatively generous- for $75 you get back whatever you gave them…).
I was stunned, but it got me thinking. My original plan for this summer was somewhat simpler. I’m still living frugally, and trying to plan carefully for future financial goals. My big goal for traveling right now is for January in Australia, and I was looking forward to a summer of exploring wild places much closer to home (that’s why I moved to Montana in the first place). In my life, having fewer, simpler (but no less lofty) goals usually means I end up achieving more of them. Bailing on a trip never feels good, but hopefully this might evidence a simple rule- you usually find what you go looking for. Have I gone looking for the wild experience here, in the place I’m in? Only a little bit. Does it make sense to fly and drive 3,000 miles when I haven’t really spent much time in the wilderness 30 miles from my house? Despite all the incredible experiences I’ve had in Alaska, maybe not this year. I think the experience is am important reminder that right now, I need to commit to the place that I am in and the people I am with.