I went on a hike with the woman I have fallen in love with and it taught me a few things about our relationship and relationships in general.
Our hike was originally planned for six people, but quickly downsized to just the two of us. Initially I thought to myself, “who takes a hike at 12 noon, I mean the sun is mostly out, it is blazing hot and we are not prepared for this.”
The first hurdle was actually climbing up the mountain… We decided to take the foot path which was nicely laid out and had a nice hand rail one could hold on to all the way up the mountain. While the way up was tough, it did not feel too tough. We were chatting about how hard it is to keep going up, but I wanted to run around already because I was feeling it and she was adamant we were going all the way to the top.
We reached the top of the mountain and I then insisted that we walk a bit further in and see what lays beyond where we were. We discovered King Moshoeshoes village and proceeded to the point where they used to have their meetings back in the day.
This is the point where the story gets interesting. In no particular order, I am going to state some lessons I learnt from that hike about myself in a relationship.
In the past few weeks I have felt like I have been failing to communicate — not just my feelings but my thoughts as well. I know how much this woman loves me, I know how much I love her. That has not been the problem, but in communication, there is always a chance of miscommunication. While we were up at the top, we sat where the King used to sit and address his people and commanders. For some reason, we were both able to humbly communicate with each other about where we are individually in the relationship, what we are looking to do and what we think should happen to better navigate our current issues. While not the nicest of things to always hear (the truth), this time it did not hurt. There was a lot of understanding from my side. I was able to communicate how I was thinking without frustrating her, she was able to do the same. We ended off with a hug, kiss and a “I love you”.
We proceeded to head back to the bottom whilst stopping at various points along the way.
Our first stop was at the edge of the mountain… Just to enjoy the view. We took some pictures, and boy, were they good. For a long time, she said I do not know how to take pictures of her. While true, this, I have felt, was confidence-related on my side. I know how to take pictures, but I was never confident to own the moment of taking a picture of this particular person. On this day, I threw all of that out of the window. I told myself, I know all her good angles, let me just do what I know. That worked on a whole new level.
Our next stop was deciding which direction to take. The trusted and tested route that we used on our way up, or to go down the hard way in between the mountains. We decided to go down the mountain, the “hard way” if I could put it that way.
This is where most of the lessons I learnt in this exercise came in. No matter if you are going back down to reality or going up a slope in a relationship, nothing is ever easy. We are all humans.
I often like to hold my lady’s hand as she walks over anything uncomfortable — it is just a helping hand because I care about her and I do not want her to lose balance or hurt herself. If it was up to me I would have held her the whole way down that mountain. But it would have been impractical. What would have rather made sense instead would have been to just let her find her way… Which I had to. The lesson here for me was to understand that she needs her independence to navigate her own way. As much as I would love to make every single step for her comfortable, it is important that she be the one who tells me when she is not comfortable and would like a helping hand. And that moment did come where she said, I need a hand now.
The second lesson was to understand that there are several ways to reach the same destination. There were times when I thought I had the perfect way down and she thought she had the perfect way down… Was the one more correct than the other? I do not think it mattered. We had both communicated where we were headed. We both had an understanding what the other person’s goals were and we agreed with them. How the other got to their final destination did not matter really… I mean we were side-by-side, what more could we have possibly asked for? This tied in with the independence lesson. Once we established the end goal and understood it, why does my path or your path matter? This sounds very easy, but I must admit this has been the most difficult lesson for me to learn. The only reason I feel I have learnt this, is that I am now able to reference this hike and cautiously remind myself of it.
Third lesson: it is never smooth sailing. There were points where my life flashed before my eyes, and there were times she experienced the same. Did the other person not get the scare of their life seeing someone they love so dearly almost hurt themselves… It is important to realise that nothing between people is ever easy or smooth. But it is important to understand that love will always be at the forefront of everything. When the going gets tough, it is not tough for you alone. Your loved ones also feel your pain. Communicate it and understand that they are also in pain.
The last lesson I wish to mention here is that there is more to a relationship than love. While it is a good base to have, there are far more requirements to make it successful. There is understanding, communication, trust and faith to name a few.
I often do not like taking the hard way or most challenging way, if there is an easy way out then that is me. I know you know this.
I have been very frustrating, immature and not understanding for some part. I will admit that. And there is not but to that statement.
I do not know what the future holds for anything, and best believe I know for sure only God controls the future. All I know is that I will forever keep trying my best at whatever I do. I know I will forever love you, no matter what. All roads leading up or down to anything are never an easy walk. But I do know from all of it, my love for you will forever keep growing.
Thank you for the hike, it was a brilliant idea. It gave me more than what I think you would initially thought. I might have listed only three or four lessons, but what I got from it is way more. Also thank you for keeping up with me. I know I am a lot, but thank you very much.