The Long Walk

I should have seen this clearly before.

Source: Unsplash (Aneta Ivanova)

I’m on holiday, in the mountains. I first wanted to go to one of my preferred places. A good part of the trip could be made by car, but I chose to go there walking.

It was a walk in my possibilities, near villages, in a region that I know well, so I didn’t take care of planning. Backpack, ready, go.

The round trip took several hours. Not really a problem but I needed some breaks and when I arrived at the destination I knew it was a long way back, so I couldn’t stay there too much. The way back seemed very long and it was a relatively hot day. I arrived home exhausted.

It’s ok, I did my trip. It’s normal to sweat when trekking. Simply, I didn’t expect it in this apparently easy trip. I hoped to stay at the destination much longer. I did the walk specifically to stay there. Also, I hoped to enjoy my trip more. Fatigue has a little spoiled the trip in this case.

That’s a classical life lesson, but it assumed a deeper meaning for me.

Working for our goals may be hard. We are usually motivated by knowing that the goal is worth. Sometimes the goal is associated with an enjoyable condition. But going there has two drawbacks. The journey is painful and we hope it ends soon. Also, when the goal is accomplished, other concerns jump out.

I’m writing a book. I love to think and to write. So, this is the best possible journey for me. But it’s harder than expected. I want to get it finished, but there are complications, as usually happens. These complications are spoiling the joy of writing. When/if this book will be finished and published it will certainly be a satisfaction. But when my three sold copies of the e-book will not even be enough to pay the internet connection, I will probably be disappointed.

We have to some way come to terms that effort and problems are part of the nature of joy. Sweating should not distract us from looking around and enjoying to be there, working for our goals. If we lose ourselves in the effort, we lose the life between here and there.

Also, we should expect that arriving will not be pure joy. It will take with it new concerns. It will not be as expected. We have to be prepared for this. If we know this in advance, we can prevent, or we can be psychologically prepared. If we let distraction spoil the satisfaction, we disrespect the effort (maybe not only our) we’ve done to go there.

But what if I did part of the path by car?

Writing my book is teaching me to overcome the difficulties of writing, to think lucidly and explain clearly. The process teaches to reach the goal. Iterating allows me to eventually become a writer. The three sold copies will help me understand that writing involves marketing. Bad critics will help me improve my writing.

Complimenting myself with my work will not help me to become a writer.

Reaching destination by car would have allowed me to stay in my preferred location for more time, without the weight of fatigue. But I would not have learned my lesson. Also, I would not have known that I had a lesson to learn.

Any time we take shortcuts we renounce to grow. The next time we restart from the same level.

Dealing with issues and growth is an essential part of enjoying life. When enjoying life is possible, of course.

I should have seen it more clearly before, I know. Maybe, the fact that it took so many years was another lesson I had to learn.