I'm sitting in a coffee shop in Crested Butte, Colorado. It's actually my first time here. I tried to do San Luis Peak this morning, but I didn't even get within 10 miles of the trailhead as the road was so snowed over that the Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro that I borrowed from a coworker in 4 Low with a locked differential wasn't making it a quarter of the way through a large snow drift. More than an hour on snowed over dirt roads in four wheel drive and for what?! Sure it was cool to go through a snow drift maybe 10 inches deep, but I didn't come out here to drive around.
I spent something like $6000 in December between rent, medial bills, travel expenses, a ski pass, new climbing gear, and lots of food and drink. I'm very much cash flow negative for the month, as I have been a couple other months since moving. I took a rather significant base pay raise (and long term benefit cut) moving out to Colorado, and I thought that I would be able to save money for other goals, like buying a new vehicle or a house. Unfortunately running the numbers the other day it seems I'll be 40 by the time I can afford much of anything at the rate I'm saving. Now, that's an awfully pessimistic view of my financial situation, getting a pulmonary embolism is not on the to do list for every month or year.
Yesterday I basically laid on my couch watching TV most of the day. It was pretty great and I'm considering driving back to Longmont to do more of that, instead of going to freeze in the cold and wind the next few days.
Midlife crisis's are often precipitated by a health scare. I'm not saying I'm having a mid life crisis, but for so long I was focused on climbing Mt. Everest, on paying off my student loans, on getting on team USA, on getting into a career that I felt very inspired by. I've done all that. So what's next?
I'd like to climb all the 14ers in winter. But given that I have roughly a 33% success rate for each attempt, that means a lot of days where I do a lot of driving and end up sitting in a coffee shop or in my idling vehicle. It's a bit depressing (...as in depressing this afternoon). As I think about the other things I would like to do such as, finally get my pilot's license, go back to Pakistan to climb something, and run fast again, they all seem so far away from where I am. You can't have everything, maybe you can have anything, but you can't have everything.
It feels so lazy to want to sit on the couch and skip running for the day or going into the mountains and just watch TV. Is it a phase? Is it the winter blues? Is this was happens in your 30s? Maybe my body and mind just need a rest from 2018, it was a pretty eventful year for me.
The other day I watched the movie Generation Wealth. It scared me because in part it's about me and the materialism that seems to creep into almost every aspect of life. I've said the purpose of life is relationships for years, yet here I am driving around Colorado alone, and pursuing material things and solo adventures. I want a romantic relationship, yet in some ways I feel like I sabotage my own chances by not pursuing leads hard enough. There are so many amazing women in the world, I just need to pick one... right?
We're looking for purpose and validation, and I struggle with both of those. I bet most people do at one time or another. On the purpose side, I'm here to do God's will, although I rarely feel like I do much good there. So I carve out other purposes for myself like climbing mountains, engineering, or running, because frankly God hasn't given me a step by step how to guide for my life. Similarly on the validation and approval side winning a race or climbing a mountain doesn't change who you are. It may validate and approve of what you did and how you prepared, but it doesn't validate who you are. The only validation I need is from Jesus who died on the cross to validate me. Getting back to the title, it's really not about what I want, it's what God wants for me. Yet, again, there is no path written out for me to read to know what decisions to make. Should I drive back to Longmont right now or stay up here in the mountains? How can I answer that question? Driving back to Longmont is "giving up" on climbing and skiing more in the next few days, but staying out here is seeking some sort of external purpose and validation.
I don't know.
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