Reflecting on Vantage / Life Reminders.

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I know a lot of people have beef with a majority of humanity, but you know what? If we’re all looking for the bad in people and expecting the worst, that’s what we are going to find. My best friend, Sunshine, and I took a trip to Vantage, WA for our weekly get-away and a lot was brought to my attention. Every day is a learning experience and sometimes it’s just a reminding experience. Often we forget the most simple life lessons as we get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of our every day lives. Nothing driving 152 miles away from the city won’t solve.

I went top rope climbing for the first time ever, which you can read about HERE, and I have been spamming the hell out of everyone with my photos, which you can view HERE. I’m just excited. Bear with me. I believe getting off the map is important for the soul. After all, aren’t we all just over-domesticated animals? When your cell doesn’t have service and you can’t Tweet or update your Facebook status, you’re more prone to focus on what’s in front of you. And, in my case this week, it was absolutely breath taking. I swear, I felt like I was in a mix of an open-ended video game / dream / snow globe / another dimension. With that, I was reminded of a lot of the simple things in life. Hence, life reminders instead of “life lessons.

Jenny, Kenny, Katie, Jetta, Sunshine, Brooke

People will wave back if you wave. And, even if they don’t, that’s okay. Every single person we passed on the trail or between rock formations greeted us with a wave, smile or “How’s it going?” Being friendly can get you so far. When you flash a stranger a smile, you’re opening yourself up to possibilities. We met three different groups of people climbing on the first day, and each interaction started with a simple “Hello.” As Sunshine and I were hiking back from the wall, we met a guy named Andy at the cave entrance, who we greeted with big smiles. By being friendly and making about thirty seconds of small chat, we agreed to meet Andy at The Feathers so Sunshine could have one more round of climbing – this time a bit more challenging.

Strangers will share their shoes for the sake of having a good time. It comes down to being open, friendly and not giving a good g-damn about petty things like foreign smelly feet. I wore three stranger’s shoes over the course of two days. Three people were generous enough to let me borrow their climbing shoes, which ended up being the catalyst for me living a monumental life experience. Brooke even left me with her gear and told me to give it to one of the other girls when I was through with it. “I trust you for some reason,” she said. I thanked her repeatably and told her that if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have gotten to experience such an incredible moment. She said that was what it was all about – being able to help people achieve and experience things they may not have been able to do on their own.

It’s worth the wait. Sometimes you have to wait a good hour or two for the lead climbed to set everything up, then wait for your turn on the top rope. But when you’re clinging to the side of a cliff that’s 55M high, none of that matters and the feelings of accomplishment are overwhelming. And, even if you had to wait another three hours, it still would have been worth it. It’s true what they say – Patience is a virtue.

Sunshine belaying me.

Sometimes you’re shivering yourself to sleep and sometimes you’re swimming in a pool of your own sweat. Seasons change. Everything changes. The only constant is change. How many times do I have to say it? The trick it is taking each and every moment with stride and living in the now. Get through what’s happening in this moment and worry about what lies ahead when you get there. Life makes 45, 90 and 180 degree turns within the course of days/weeks/years (and sometimes even minutes).

It even rains in the desert. Maybe not for very long or much, but it happens. At least it happened to us. I’m not saying rain is bad by any means (I live in Seattle for goodness sake). However, many folks see rain as a burden or annoyance. But it’s got to rain some time, and even though it may be unpleasant for you, it will pass. And, not everything is perfect. Nothing is.

We all have something to learn. No matter how experienced you are in subjects A, B, C and D, I can guarantee there are hundreds of thousands of people who could outsmart you in categories E, F and G. We all have something to learn from every single person that walks into our life. Learning is good for the mind, body and soul. It could be something as simple as learning a new technique for an activity you do every single day to accomplishing something you never thought you could attain in the first place. Observe and admire those around you. Ask questions. Offer input and feedback.

Justin showing me how to tie a proper knot.

We’re all in this together. Whether you like it or not, you’re on this earth with several billion other individuals. You’re not going to like all of them, but you may be stuck in a two hour car ride with one of them (not me, but one of the guys we met along the way). We exist in the same moment and you have to take it as it comes. While you don’t have to agree with everyone that crosses your path, you can at least accept them and learn to appreciate them. Life goes on.

We’re all here to have a good time. It didn’t matter that I was lacking shoes or a harness. It didn’t matter I had never climbed outdoors before. Everyone was there to have a good time and spend time with good company. We were in the middle of nowhere, sharing moments with people we knew nothing about. However, we all had at least one thing in common – we were there to climb. This brought everyone together and everyone enjoyed and embraced that.

My experiences during this giveaway left me feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, and it reinstated some of my faith in mankind.

If you found this article helpful, please consider a small donation to The Radical Uprise. This site exists because because readers like you choose to support it. Please click here to submit a donation. Thank you for supporting my creative endeavors. Stay radical. xx 


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2 responses »

  1. Such an inspiring article!! I will be the first to admit that life has hardened me. I was told this also recently by someone. I truly am working on “softening up.” Thanks so much for the reminder. I will make you proud!

    B

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