It was exactly 11 years ago that I was trying to decide if I was going to make the Lehigh Valley my new home. I was trying desperately to hold onto my college life, grad school, or anything that resembled it. I eventually, and painfully, ended up giving up on that dream in favor of building the best “adult” working life I could. Honestly, I am shocked on how well it turned out given my lack of optimism from the time: “Maybe it is my overblown sense of nostalgia… wishing I could go back in time and live it all again… One thing I know for sure, everything in the past seems so familiar and so much easier. Maybe I am afraid of doing something new.”
I have found that the most success and happiness I have had over the years is when I have given myself over to that transition. When I stopped trying to force my past to continue, I was able to find something new and beautiful. When I stopped trying to force college/grad school to continue, I found a dream job that allowed me to pretend to be a full time bike racer. When I gave up on being a pretend full time bike racer, I found rock climbing, adventuring, and mountaineering.
And now here I am again, 11 years later, looking back into the past of an ended marriage and a life that we built. And just as college was a great ride, so was the past 11 years. But I won’t let my future be written by the last greatest thing. The last 11 years were great, sure, but it all started because I was ready to give up the years before that.