Bored with Base Camp
The great Mitch Hedberg (may he rest in peace) had a joke about mountain climbing. “I want to climb a mountain- not so I can get to the top- cause I want to hang out at base camp. That seems fun as shit. You sleep in a colorful tent, you grow a beard, you drink hot chocolate, you walk around. People ask you, ‘Hey, you goin to the top?’ ‘Soon.'” (I couldn’t find audio of this joke… oh well, enjoy this compilation instead and consider this your warning that while the material is clean Mitch seasons his comedy with plenty of f-bombs.)
I feel like this is how I live my life. Waiting for something to happen. Wasting my time. Making excuses. Missing out. Truthfully, I rarely live in the present moment. I often find myself thinking, “Tomorrow I’ll make that change, achieve that goal, deepen that friendship, pursue that dream.”
I’m not sure why I’m sitting out on the fringes watching other people live. I think it’s because I’m scared. The mountain of life can be a dangerous place. There are real risks involved, like relationships and rejection and failure. Being open, authentic, present, and vulnerable with people… it’s just not safe. What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t fit in? What if people see my weaknesses? What will they think of me? What if I share my heart and they don’t care?
In order to preserve myself, I’ve alienated myself. I don’t reach out to people. I don’t cultivate relationships very well. I don’t share myself unless I’m asked, and even then I give little. I don’t ask for help when I need it. As long as I live in this little bubble, I can’t get hurt. I watch people who are truly living, who are willing to share their heart and passion, people who are taking risks. I hate watching the real mountaineers setting off up the trail because I’m intimidated by their courage and jealous of their adventure.
Since Isabella was born, I’ve felt especially isolated and desperately in need of a real support network… of friends who know me deeply and love me, who will celebrate the joys of life with me and help me through the tough times. Friends that I can support and encourage in return.
Normally I would journal all of this and not tell anyone about my life changing resolutions to stop hiding, and then lose my motivation and be disappointed because I failed again. So I guess I’m sharing all of this as a way to say, I’m picking up my pack and taking those first steps up the trail, and I could use a little companionship along the way. Hope to see you on the mountain…