I’m a restless person.
For me slowing down is hard. My mind wanders constantly. No matter where I am, I am always wondering, what’s next? What am I going to do with my life? What is my purpose?
I complete my Master’s degree, and instead of celebrating, rejoicing, or just feeling proud, even for one minute, I found myself thinking, “Now what?”
Fortunately, what was next – after my commencement ceremony, after the potluck picnic in the park where I saw at least a few dozen friends for what will probably be the last time ever, and after my mom and friend Molly returned home to New Jersey and Pennsylvania respectively, and my roommates Mike and Hillary headed to Rhode Island for the summer – was a trip to Baltimore, where one of my best friends, Tzvi, was waiting for me in the airport with a hug.
And then followed 10 days in West Virginia, one of my favorite states, with a small group of amazingly bright and inspiring students from Johns Hopkins University. This is the third year I’ve led an outdoor instructor training trip for Hopkins students, and its one of my favorite trips. I was also expecting this one to be my last.
Happiness for me is a mountaintop with a scenic view of the valley below. The smell of azaleas and wildflowers on the wind. The red sun bowing below the horizon, bidding farewell to day.
More than that, it’s sharing experiences such as these with others. It’s sharing myself with others. It’s being me, all flawed and full of love and hope and with a hamster on a treadmill in my head.
Sometimes I just need a reminder.
Sometimes I just need a breath of fresh air. No Facebook or internet or email. Just good company. Laughter. Nature. And that feeling of holding on just long enough to fall in love and then let go. And know that even though everything doesn’t feel ok, it is ok.
And it will be ok.
Happiness is a day in the woods. Or a week.
There is a great quote from Calvin & Hobbes. It goes “We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”
Enjoy where you are.