I feel so convicted. So very convicted. To the core of my very innards. Is it simply butterflies that I am feeling? Is it a massive infiltration of pure fear being infused into my molecules? Is it a state of confusion that I am experiencing because I cannot answer this question with a single, spontaneous response?
Should it be a single, spontaneous response? Is this “chance” supposed to look like a pop of color on a canvas or is it part of a plan — all mapped out with color-coded push pins on my vision board? Am I the only one who feels this way when asked this question? Please, someone. Anyone.
Wait. There is only one question here. Only one. I catch myself wanting to answer in outline form in my Thinking Pad. I want to get out my Green Trails map and examine the topography of the trail ahead of me. I want to know how many miles it is to the overlook. I want to know the point where the trail flattens out a bit. How many switchbacks are on this trail? And what is the elevation gain? Have I brought enough water? Did I bring enough sustenance? Wait, is my boot starting to rub a blister?
I write this and know how terribly apprehensive I sound. I love being alive and having fun and dancing and doing crazy things with friends and meeting new people and learning new music and traveling alone and learning new skills and . . .
A moment of clarity tells me that I am turning all of this into a gale-force force-field analysis. It is true, in a desire to cultivate mindfulness, that I like to focus on what matters to me: Do I focus on the summit? The next switchback? The trillium and skunk cabbage along the trail? And how many switchbacks are on this trail? What is the elevation gain? If I knew that there were going to be 49 switchbacks with a 4000-foot elevation gain, would I be tempted to turn around and find an alternative route? An alternative peak altogether?
Does life really need to be analyzed and dissected, answer by answer, or is it a journey that involves choices that are made one small, sustainable,sometimes risky step at at time? I think of the time when I hiked up some crazy-steep trail in the French Alps. It was an epic effort but so satisfying to reach the top. As for taking one chance today? I’ve got this. Easy.
Back to the question:
If you were to take at least one chance, what would it be?
My answer: Yes. Yes to the summit, the switchbacks, the skunk cabbage, the blisters. I am going to look to the summit and hang the switchbacks. I’ll pick huckleberries and identify flowers that are new to me. I know what it is I want. I have a vision. I can see it and I can smell it and I can feel how good it feels to be on the path. And I want it. I want to take that chance now, please.