The people I have met have changed my life. They have accepted me despite my eccentric faces, horribly endless stream of jokes, and restlessness that leaves me hitting the hills come rain or shine. Rainy days are trail days, sunny days are climbing days.
But I've noticed a trend every time I come home. People expect me to leave. My friends think I'm gone even when I'm home. Most people, even in my family, refer to me as a mountain climber. This is true. But it makes me think of how I've completely forgotten the other things I used to be defined as, inwardly and socially. Where has math gone? Where has Chinese gone? Where has filmmaking gone? I miss memorizing digits, speaking new foreign languages and being creative. I've been working whatever jobs I can that allow me 4-6 months off for years now, betraying my studies for the mountains. While there is no single regret in there, I don't want my brain to be idle while my body gets all the fun. This year, I've decided to stay in the northern hemisphere and turn my attention to more intellectual pursuits.
I'm no longer obsessed with the mountains, just in love with them. They'll be there in a year when I'm ready to go back and show them how much I missed them.
I'm not being completely honest, either, if I don't mention another reason I'm not rushing down south this year. I've been rushing the last seven years, always planning and looking ahead, hurrying to get to the next objective in the project. I finished a lifetime goal and was nominated for the Piolet d'Or, which is ridiculous because I'm not a talented climber, just very stubborn, determined and passionate. I'm easily inspired. In the photo below, there are maybe 10 people at the Trinidad Bivy Boulder, all inspiring individuals like Grant Simmons.