Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find yourself

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This week, after a particularly rough day at work, I decided that I just really needed to go for a walk. This is where I find myself incredibly grateful for the fact that I work at a camp on a mountain, overlooking a lake, and buried in the wilderness. My mind was swimming, I wasn’t in a good mood, and I just needed to escape. I realized there is absolutely no better place to be to get away from it all, so the second my shift was over, I started walking up a trail.

Initially, I was thinking about just doing a loop around the edge of camp, and possibly stopping at the treehouses and sitting on the steps, which is a favourite thing for me to do in the past when I needed to escape. They’re isolated without being too far away from anything, and usually it’s just far enough to be alone for a little while.

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But instead of going to a place I have always gone, I suddenly was about to pass a trail that leads down to a waterfall and stream that runs through the woods. Even though I have been working at this camp for 10 years, I had never once gone to visit this area. It’s a pretty common place for people to visit throughout summer especially, but I avoided it at all costs.

You see, the path down is quite steep. Too steep for me to deal with when I weighed almost 500 pounds. There’s no way I was going to go down that hill safely. I just knew that I would never be able to balance myself and I would fall down a cliff and seriously injure myself. I didn’t want to do it with other people for fear of utter embarrassment, and I didn’t want to do it alone for fear of hurting myself and nobody knowing where I was. Even if I did get down there, I would still have to haul my body all the way back up as well, which I was sure I couldn’t do. So thus, I just avoided it and made excuses to not go with friends.

But today was going to be the day, I decided. There’s nothing to hold me back. I saw the trail, turned down, and in less than 2 minutes, I was finally there. After 10 long years of avoiding it, I was finally rewarded with this:

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Wow. This beautiful place was within a 10 minute walk of where I have worked for 10 years. More importantly, I didn’t have a single problem getting down to it. What once was impossible for me, was now completely normal. I just went down, started walking across the logs and the rocks, exploring the area, feeling completely lost in the wilderness.

It instantly made my day better. Not only to be surrounded by such a beautiful and quiet place, alone with my thoughts and away from all the problems of the world, but to know that I finally accomplished something that I always assumed I would never get to see.

My life has changed a lot over the years, and while it’s starting to become normal, I am still experiencing really cool new things that take me by surprise. I love being healthier and feeling like I have a new life. There’s so many experiences out there that I have never had, and most other people have been doing for their whole life. This is just one very minor event, but to me, it turned around my whole day, and meant everything to me.

I feel like my life is still very much on the way up.

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