I hadn’t intended for this to be the next post on my blog, but after the afternoon I’ve had, I’ve been burning to put some words down on paper…computer screen…anywhere!
I’m rehearsing in Leeds at the moment, and have been using my free Sunday to travel home and spend some time with my family. It’s been great because I get a good three or fours hours each way to do a lot of work, mainly on the play I’m writing and blog posts. On the other hand, traveling is quite tiring, which I find difficult to understand because I spend most of my time sitting down! But with the trains to London being a mess this weekend, I decided to stay in Leeds.
I spent the afternoon in Ilkley, a small town in West Yorkshire, with my roommate. I will admit that I don’t know a huge deal about anywhere north of London, so I’m glad I have the opportunity to live here until December. We got out of Ilkley station and began an hour uphill walk/climb to the top of a rock in Ilkley known as THE COW. (SPOILER: The cow is not shaped like a cow).
As we started walking along the pavement, I had no idea what was ahead. As we continued, the path got much steeper and less ‘paved’ and my very stubborn knee was starting to burn. But as we reach halfway we stopped and turned and the view before me was incredible. With the grass below and the cow above, we continued onwards. As we got closer, I had to start using my hands to gracelessly rock-climb up the hill. But after a tidy hour, we finally reached the top and I was blown away. No joke. Seriously. I was literally nearly blown away. It was SO windy! But the view was MIND-BLOWING! I could see miles and miles of gorgeous landscape and I was so glad I made it. I took about 150 photos on the whole trek but I don’t think they do it justice.
I found the climb extremely liberating but also very metaphorical to some of the struggles we often face as we try to achieve certain things. From completing PhD dissertations, to getting out of bed on time, everyone has their own relative feats that often seem insurmountable.
I definitely have a mountain: my goal of living and working as an artist in New York City. After deciding that it has to be done I know exactly what I have to do, which are A LOT of (hard) things, but I have no choice; it has to be done. So I’ve started making the necessary steps albeit small, manageable ones such as saving a specific amount of money every day and working on collecting references of my work. I know it’s going to be tough, but for now, I’m heading there in my mind, and in my actions. (…Stay tuned…)
We have to keep climbing and making progress, no matter how small. And even if we can’t physically see it, we have to keep the goal in mind-sight so that we don’t forget what it is we’re sweating, fighting and climbing so hard for. But we also have to remember the importance of rest stops (my best friends this afternoon). By giving ourselves a break, we replenish our minds, bodies and soul so they can reconnect again to our goals with their original strength.
I’ve had such a wonderful afternoon and wanted to share it as quickly as I could, so I apologize if it’s a bit rough around the edges. I am now in huge need of a chamomile tea…and a shower.* I leave you with this:
Have a think of a mountain you might have in your life. Now have a think of one step you can make tomorrow to head one step closer. Because even if it is only one step, it’s one step closer than you were yesterday. The higher you can climb, the better the view will get. And when you reach your summit, the feeling that looking back on everything before you brings will be worth the trek. I was overwhelmed by today’s view and, as well as taking my breath away, it re-energized my thoughts on my goals, on a MAJOR level. As you approach the top, the climb gets steeper. But it’s up to us to resist the temptation to give in when we are close. To know that the beauty is in the journey of going onwards and upwards and in everything it teaches us. To understand that the lessons we learn on the journey should be implemented once we arrive at the top of the mountain (or cow) as well, to make sure we stay there/continue up the next. And most importantly, it’s up to us to keep on climbing, because we will get there.
*Apologies for the over-share.