MMP: Mountain Climbing

by Rebecca A. Watson on August 18, 2014

in goals, life, Monday Morning Pages

A  few weekends ago, I went bouldering with some friends. For those of you who are like me and have never heard of this, it’s basically rock climbing in a gym but at heights that allow you to fall onto mats without much worry.

It was delightfully fun, even though I wasn’t particularly good at it to begin. Sante and I have decided that would be a nice rainy day activity for us, so I’ll definitely be getting some more practice in.

Recently I’ve been writing about struggling with uncertainty around the future and a change in my career. Awhile back I saw a commencement speech given by Neil Gaiman; what he said really inspired me.

He talked about our goal — our future — being like a mountain. And if you want to reach it, every step or action you take should push you toward that mountain. If you’re interested, here’s the speech. It’s definitely worth 20 minutes of your time.

It’s not easy to make every step you take go toward your mountain. There are detours. There are temptations. There are times when you’re confused about what to do next.

That was definitely the case this time in 2012:

There is an Ebay gig that might fit me well. The thing is, that commute seems, well, ugly. But there is a part of me that misses interaction at work as well as not worrying about paychecks and the like.

I see your point but does it really gets you closer to your mountain? Well, I dunno. I mean, no, it doesn’t get any closer to being a best-selling author, but I spent most of my time writing my last book while I was working a full-time gig.

And think of the knitting I can get done on my commute! That’s kinda hilarious.

I guess the thing to remember is that business takes several years to get on its feet. But I don’t want to run a social media business. I want to be a writer. Well, you’re getting closer with Think Simple Now and your blog and applying for writing gigs. Could I still do that and work for Ebay?

As much as the stress relief might be, I think there will be a trade-off of stress and no increase in quality of life. My quality of life will decrease. I will have bargained away all my freedom for a bit of security, which is just ridiculous.

And then in 2013:

I have just gotten back from picking up our work permits at immigration, and it appears I am going to have to start working on getting a freelance visa. Or get a 9 to 5 job, which I’m not excited about…

[A few days later after hearing from the immigration attorney] I guess that I am not able to work for a while. I was so stressed about how Sante would deal with it that he was actually the one who was looking at the positive.

“Write a book.”

A few days ago I found a list of qualities for my ideal career. I’d made this list about a year ago. On it were things like flexible, writing about self-improvement, helping others, travelling occasionally, some life coaching, working with smart, like-minded people, well paying, and involves reading and writing about my life.

It would appear, my friends, that I’m standing at the base of my mountain. Wow! That came out of nowhere. Well not really, but it’s like those hotels in Las Vegas. You walk for miles with them always in the distance, and suddenly they’re right in front of you.

venetian rebecca

The Venetian was always my favorite.

I’m realizing this all just now. It’s a marvel to me. It’s also a bit scary, to be honest.

Now my journey is all about more technical changes, deciding which climb, which path, suits my abilities. I’ll be making smaller adjustments that either stay the course with slight changes in my gait or choices lead me to less traveled but equally exciting places.

Whatever I choose, I’m on my mountain now. And I’m thrilled that the climb is more clear, even if it sometimes appears a bit precarious. Thank goodness I’ve got that bouldering practice gym so close. I’m gonna need it.

Wondering what this Monday Morning Pages thing is all about? Read how it started. Or check out all the archives.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie August 18, 2014 at 5:14 pm

K interesante!! Suerte en tus aventuras😎

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Rebecca A. Watson August 18, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Gracias amiga 🙂

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