Reading back, I realise I have been documenting my actions far more than my thoughts and feelings recently. Primarily, this is because I have been confused as of late; uncertain as to who I am and my position in life, let alone my ambitions and the progress I may or may not being making towards fulfilling them.
Having returned from a week in the mountains, however, I am enjoying the brief respite that follows exertion and removal from reality. As ever, I find fatigue helps me meditate and stay calm – two things that do not come naturally or easily to me.
Most the time, I hang in a state of awkward balance between feelings of unstoppable energy and crushing inferiority. Finding my mental balance is difficult. Maintaining it is virtually impossible, which is why my life lurches haphazardly from one reckless action to another, each an anchor from which I can hang my senses of self and pride, if only briefly.
When I do manage to find my balance, however, I become acutely aware of who I am; an entirely average man seeking desperately – albeit at times valiantly – to escape what he perceives as a mediocrity that he genuinely cannot survive.
Although my Edventures are simply unremarkable escapes from what I perceive as a mundane existence, I need them more than I think people realise. Primarily, they help me maintain my fragile senses of independence, self worth and pride. Without them, my chances of lapsing back into depression are even greater and that – of all the things I fear – I truly cannot bear. Even in this moment, merely writing about it tightens my chest and brings tears to my eyes.
However, these feats of minor endurance and interest will only continue to hold value to me for so long. To quote the wonderful Alistair Humphries;
“The law of diminishing return applies to the joys of the wild, the rewards of enduring and the lessons of the road.”
Whilst trudging 130km through the mountains of Fjordland, I steadily came to a realistation. There will inevitably come a time when, in order to continue enjoying finding meaning in my life through these activities, I will have step them up a notch. To feel the same sense of pride and happiness, I will have to risk more, overcome more and – hopefully – gain more as a result.
Somewhere on Mount Luxmore (a suitably stunted peak) I realised that this time has come.
Unfortunately, at 26 years of age, I still have neither the skills nor the experience to engage in what I deem to be truly adventurous undertakings. This leaves me in a tricky situation. In order to grow as a person, I feel I must achieve greater things. In order to achieve greater things, however, I must first become capable of achieving greater things.
In order to improve myself…I must first improve myself to the point of being able to improve myself…
However I intend to achieve this, it may require some planning. Or it may require me to simply jump back into life, adventuring boots first. However I go about it, I can no longer rely on occasional breaks from reality to help me find value in my life; I must forge an existence that sustains itself – a life that I value based on its on merit.
I would like to end this unexpectedly confusing, serious and personal post with some words from Chay Blyth, the first person to sail single-handed non-stop westwards around the world.
When seeking funding for his attempt to circumnavigate the globe, Blyth’s motives were challenged by the press. He apparently responded thus:
‘One day Saint Peter will say to me, “What did you do with your life?” and I’ll tell him. Then he’ll ask you, “What did you do with your life?” and you’ll say, “I was a reporter”.‘