by Chris de Serres
I had so many dreams when I was younger. Some of them still live. We don’t know just how far the hole goes, but at the bottom is probably everything I hoped for. Where the child still lives. Where time stands still and everything is achievable. I could even be President.
But I live at the surface. I feel competing pressures pulling at me. I am not the only one who has dreams. So does my wife. My daughter. There is a system we all must work with. I can’t just fly out to the Cordillera Blanca at a whim and sink my tools into an ice face at 18,000 feet. When I think of those days I feel like a prisoner. There are walls that are too high. I don’t have the strength in my legs to jump. I see my father sick in a bed and my daughter so vibrant at my feet. I realize I am in-between. This is the beginning of the passing of my time.
I have never known more about myself, about what i’m good at, about what I love. In time, you gain some understanding about where you should be spending your time.
I once was a speaker. It was all I wanted to do. I loved the rush of being in front of a crowd. Looking them in the eyes and telling them a personal story. Seeing their reaction. I spoke because I had to speak. I had to heal and speaking was my way to do that.
I still speak, but it’s a different kind. A technical kind. I have panic attacks. The kind that I never experienced before. I feel the rush, but I know that there are other things in life.
Even my experiences in the mountains. I am more concerned with transferring my love of nature to my daughter. I want her to see what I see. I want her to go on a hike and remember her father. She doesn’t need to love what I love. I just want her to remember.
So i’m letting go. The funny thing is we can never really empty our lives. We let go of one thing and we fill that space with something else. I will find something else, but I see now that there is space, and space is a good thing. A nourishing thing. Maybe letting go is what was always meant to happen.