Derailed Paths Yet Humbling Thoughts

Derailed Paths Yet Humbling Thoughts

One fine day in the summer of 2021, I decided to go solo hiking at this park about 20 mins from my apartment. It was a beautiful day, the weather was perfect for hiking and I was tired of being inside. I was working from home 100% at that time and I was mostly inside because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, the thought of being outside and particularly in nature gave me an instant dopamine surge. I changed into my yoga pants and comfortable T’s, took the car, and headed towards Sansom Park. I was getting comfortable driving by myself at that time so driving to the park was a win in itself.

I got there and parked my car further away from the trailhead than usual because I took a wrong turn at the end, but close enough to get to reach the trailhead anyways. I was all excited- I got out of the house, drove to the (almost) trailhead all by myself and I was going to hike. I started the hike. I knew from my previous experiences that upon reaching the top of the hill you would get this picturesque view of the lake, so I was headed towards my destination.

As I hiked my way upward, I got derailed again (the second time for the day) and ended up on the wrong path to realize that there was no way I could make it to the top! Bummer! In the middle of the steep hill, I got stuck with no humans in my proximity. I looked up realizing that there was no way I could climb up and I looked down feeling like I was not going to make it there either (trauma from past downhill experience kicked in). Feeling scared and almost hopeless, I just stayed there for a minute not knowing what to do next when one of my friends called me to vent about her date. I listened to her patiently and once she was done, I vented out my own frustration of getting stuck. We hung up and I took a deep breath and told myself, “Look you are on your own, you must figure out a way to get down and you can do it!” After a little pep talk from me to myself, I sat down, grabbed whatever I could find on my side that would give me some kind of stability, and slowly descended downwards! In a few minutes, I reached a point in the trail (the correct point), which would actually lead me to the top of the hill. My anxiety kicked in, but I fought it and made it to the top of the trail from where I could see the stunning view of the lake.

As I took a minute to take in the beautiful view, I reflected on my experience and connected the experience of being stuck in a broader perspective. Often, we feel stuck, helpless, lonely, and even hopeless in our lives. We get to a point where we feel like we can reach nowhere from where we are! I have been there, and I am sure many of you have been there as well.

In those days and times when we struggle with the feeling of getting stuck, it can be helpful to take a pause for a minute, maybe share our struggles with our loved ones (venting out with the trusted ones) and when we are done with that maybe we can breathe a little and figure out our way to whatever our path is! And when we do that there is a beautiful view at the top that makes us forget what a difficult path we took to get there, and it will all be worth it.

It is a reminder to you and me that getting derailed sometimes in life is okay, maybe it was meant to give us a different perspective! We are not lost- we are on our way to the beautiful destination.

And we got this!