We All Have Mountains To Climb

I thought this was supposed to be the fun part of planning a trip but I’m just finding it soul-wrenchingly stressful. There are so many decisions to make, so many things to consider, so much to do, so much to get ~ my head just spins out of control thinking about it all and that’s just my trip ~ let’s not even look at keeping up with my studies, having to work full-time and getting fit for climbing this gigantic mountain!

We have set our dates and now I just have to get over the small mountain of getting my leave approved (some serious wangling and dealing is going to be happening soon) and then we are literally just days away from signing the form that will confirm our guides, our flights and dates for the trip, sending it in and paying the money. Once that form is in, this is it. No turning back. Not that I want to turn back. Turning back is absolutely out of the question – this trip has been talked about for almost 3 years now and finally it is all coming together, however, I would happily give the stress that is coming with this back.  The stress is worse than writing my end of year exams ~ who would have thought that possible ~ My body is taking strain and even though I’m getting a good night’s rest every night I’m looking like I haven’t slept in weeks!

I’m feeling so wiped out at the moment, in desperate need of time out from everything, which is no where in sight.  I need to officially give myself permission to feel whatever, instead of smiling all the time, when I don’t feel like it. I have bitten off a few heads lately.  Little things just annoy me at the moment and sometimes I’m done just being nice all the time. I’m having a stressful day that is lasting a little bit longer than a day!  I don’t particularly like who I am when I am this stressed. I’m usually the most positive, happy-go-lucky girl around and I realise that moaning over what doesn’t feel good is a complete waste of time and energy and not a whole lot of fun.  And yet… if I am human, then it comes with the package.  So to everyone around me, suck it up people, I’m human too!

Thanks goodness for Donna, my dear friend and travelling partner for this trip. She knows all the ins and outs and ugly details of what exactly is the real main cause of my current stress and at times she’s been in my firing line. She’s the calm in my storm, my ever glowing bottle of sunshine. She keeps me grounded and is simply the most amazing, understanding person who helps me stay focused on my goal despite the one or two obstacles that have recently landed in my path.

“Difficulties increase the nearer we get to the goal.”
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

On days like these I often wonder what Emma would do. I think of her every day but planning this trip and doing Kilimanjaro in tribute to her makes me think of her even more so.  Today, I find myself wishing she was here because I know she would make me laugh with some silly, totally non-funny joke that in the end would have me doubled over laughing. She had a good way of doing that. We would laugh half-heartedly at some silly joke and before we knew it we would be laughing hysterically at just about anything and everything!  She was always like that, seeing the funny side to things that weren’t even funny. She lightened up life. She was the light in my life. And today I miss her more than usual.

Right now so many people are facing tough times and I know I am not alone with the stress that I am feeling at the moment. It seems like this is a tough year for many people and I realise some of you might be saying what’s so tough about planning a holiday. So let’s just say this, I’m not a millionaire, in fact, I’m probably just like you, paying off debt, paying for my studies, trying to keep my head above water and doing the best I can. This holiday will come from sacrifice, hard work and perseverance to fulfil my dreams. That is, if I make it through the stress!  Currently, I know of someone in the process of making a big, life changing decision not only for themselves but for their family. I know of someone else who is in huge financial difficulty and is literally drowning and treading water trying to stay afloat and then I know of someone who is fighting for her life, courageously and with determination. I went to visit my friend last night, who was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer just weeks ago. Already she has been through so much. Last night chatting about her journey, she told me about the chemo and radiation she will have to endure over the next 9 months. I am humbled by her journey, by her strength and courage and it yet again helps put everything into perspective.   

In the end we each travel our own journey, doing the best we can with what we are given at any given time.  Our difficulties, all different in so many ways but we are all trying to stay afloat and make it through the storm to the sunshine on the other side.We just have to keep going. One foot in front of the other. This morning I was given the simple reminder of “What you resist persists” so staying on course, feeling it fully and hoping these moments pass soon.

P.S.  Just after I finished typing the bit about Emma and how much I miss her today, a shongololo fell onto my keyboard with a ‘thump’ from up above at what in shongololo terms would be classed as huge speed! Lol, this girl still makes me laugh. A present from up above, stranger things have happened ~ Emma up to her old tricks doing her best to make me laugh…..!!  Thanks girl, I needed that! ;) 

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