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Fork in the road: Part I

I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

Or maybe I do, but I don't know how to get there.

Or maybe I do, but I'm scared to go that route.

Practicality and responsibility say one thing, while passion and meaning say another. They aren't mutually exclusive ideas, but when they don't coincide, it's hard to tell which path to follow.

Hard work is needed either way, but isn't it better to work hard for something you love than to work hard for something you don't?

One path is treacherous and rocky, but leads to a gorgeous view, while the other is flat and easy but goes nowhere.

I have been learning to climb recently. Literally, not poetically. There's a bouldering gym near me, and though I had weak arms and a fear of heights, I tried it out. I loved it. I was hooked. Because of it, I'm stronger and braver and have a new way to blow off steam after a hard day. That was a chance that I took, and it was worth it.

The more I climb, the more I learn about my abilities to stretch my comfort zone. My body is changing, growing in its ability to carry itself to strange places and to jump with no promise of catching a hold.

Discomfort is often a sign that something is wrong, but it can also be a sign that something is worth trying.

There's the discomfort of losing one's mind walking down a never-ending path in a landscape filled with nothing. That discomfort is a sign that change is needed, that the path is the wrong one.

The discomfort of gripping onto rocks and pulling oneself upward -- afraid of falling, sweating, panting -- is exhilarating. Even if you fall, you grow. You try again. There is progress. There is pain. And one day you reach the top and you see something nobody else has.

And it was worth it.

Will it be worth it?

I'm scared it won't be worth it...

Credit: Photo by David Billings on Unsplash

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