Last year, I wrote: “Sometimes, we have to take our plans and scrap them. Start from the beginning, wherever that may be. Lose that control. That was what moving to Brooklyn was for me. Climbing was my new chapter, and Brooklyn helped me find it. I don’t want to fall into that trap again. You know, doing things because they make me feel safe. It’s important to have a plan (and then sometimes plan B), but more important to always be ready for the unseen obstacles that inevitably come our way. And hopefully when those obstacles come, know that it’s okay to tear down the walls and forget the tough guy act for a little while, let your ego step aside and learn to be more vulnerable.”

Six months between then and now, and I’m slowly learning that sometimes, there is no plan B.

Shelf Road on a perfect winter day
Feelin’ fly on #1 Super Guy (5.11). Photograph by Jared O’Brien

I’ve got a good support system, though: those who have been with me since I tied my first figure eight, the ones I have met on the road and then, of course, the ones who can still remember when I was climbing out of my second-floor window in high school and scaling buildings downtown. 

The most important thing I am learning on this trip is that it’s okay to fall apart for a little while. I think we all spend too much time trying to convince ourselves that we need to be strong when we really just need to be ourselves. I left New York with no agenda, and because of that, I have found myself falling apart, letting go, and putting the pieces back together all at once. I am taking things slowly and moving in the direction I am meant to, I think. It’s a cool process.

Snow angels and sunbathing in Moab. Photograph by Daniel Kokoszka

I am realizing that there is no single person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them, but we aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. The whole purpose of living is to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.

I’m excited to see what kind of person I become on the other side of this.

3 thoughts

  1. “I’d rather go to sleep in the dirt if it means I get to wake up and see the best sunrise of my life.” I love that! There are so many lessons to be found in climbing, and I love knowing there are other people out there who are experiencing what I am! This is great :]

  2. “I think we all spend too much time trying to convince ourselves that we need to be strong, when we really just need to be ourselves.” Thanks for sharing Kathy! The whole thing got my heart feeling all swelled up then that quote manifested the sentiment in tears. Be blessed!

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