“My favorite thing is to go where I've never been.”
― Diane Arbus
Remember two blog posts ago where I talk about how euphoric (no, I do not think that is too strong a word) I was about getting to go on the Gratitude Hike?
And I was! I was all, "LALALALALA, I got chosen. I am so awesome! I am like the coolest person on the planet. Yea me! Go me!" In my head. I didn't actually go around saying that. I am actually cooler than that.
And then my head would go, "Hello, are you sure this is real? He could change his mind." And, "My gosh, there were a lot of people who wanted to go on this and they are probably a lot nicer than me and now they will feel bad and do I really deserve this I don't act like much of a fan and I never sent a card or money or anything."
But then the happy part would take over again and do the brain dance, "I get to go to New Hampshire. I get to see leaves. I'm going to see Atticus and pet Will and talk to smart people. Go me! I'm a rock star! Shoobydoobybangbang, this is awesome!"
Apparently, the happy part would never make it in a dance contest because soon the insecure part cut in. As soon as Tom started asking people to introduce themselves and what they did for a living and what hobbies they had I became the queen of cloudy thoughts. "These people are so much better and smarter than I am. They have careers. I'm a teacher who quit teaching. They scuba dive, and sky dive and ride bikes. AND HIKE! I'm out of shape and I spend my time driving a pick up truck around. They do charity work and have deep thoughts. I am a nothing."
But we have a private facebook page formed for the purpose of getting information about the hike to us and for getting to know each other before we meet up in person, and they seemed like such nice superiors. They have really cute kids and dogs too. I started to warm up to them and the thought of hanging out with them. Me and all my shortcomings would just soak up some of their grandeur.
You know, after a while, they seemed not so intimidating. They started to seem like potential friends and team mates. I decided this would be okay. I was walking and I was buying the right stuff, or trying to and I could make this work. We were all in this together after all.
A discussion ensued about some members being afraid they might not make it to the top, or being afraid of heights, or having bad knees, etc. Lots of encouragement was offered. Assurances of a helping hand were given. Then someone said "We are not going to leave anyone behind. We will make sure everyone makes it to the summit." (Okay, maybe not an exact quote, but you really need the quotation marks for this to be effective.)
Well, crap, now the pressure is really on. What if I'm the one who can't make it? That will be even more embarrassing now. Until then I thought I'd give it my all but if I faded out it would be okay and maybe no one would notice.
You see, I'm not much of a team player. My pursuits are more solitary. I never cared that there was no I in Team. In fact I was happy about that. There is an I in Individual and also Imagination and Intriguing. But I do like people, and when I am a part of something I don't want to be the one causing it to fall apart. I need to get my new team mates to see that getting to the top of a mountain, or not getting there is not the main point for me. If I do, that will be fantastic and I will bask in the accomplishment and live with the glory! If I don't make it to the summit I will see beautiful sights, breath the air of New Hampshire's White mountains, walk along trails I've never walked and may never again, hug trees that need to know I care and sit and stare at vistas I've longed for. There's no losing in this for me. I'm a winner already. I've gained so much before it even begins (not to mention a new pair of groovy purple hiking boots). There is so much more to come, both on and off the mountain. I am content, whether I literally make it to the highest point of a mountain, or if I let my soul and mind experience this event without fear and trepidation.
Now I just have to find a way to tell them.
Thank you modern technology!
addendum: I was thinking of adding this quote here with a cute little graphic--- "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among stars!" – Les Brown In searching for the author and a pic I found this site, and it is so much better! Reality check! The cynic in me loved this. (warning- curse words)