Sunday, July 8, 2012

Comfortably Numb

Perspective: The state of one's ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship.

Sometimes I don't know how I am supposed to feel about certain aspects of life. I am that person who wears their heart on their sleeve. I am not good at hiding my emotions, for better or for worse. I cry when I am upset and I tell you when I am angry. As the moments pile up in my life, I notice myself putting on a smile and just moving forward. Accepting the way things are, accepting people as they are. When I feel like I am being sucked into a black abyss by someone else, I find myself trying to help them see the light again by staying positive and upbeat about life.

I truly believe that life can be beautiful. Not all the time, no... but overall, it has more beautiful moments than shitty moments. In the end, it is only us and our perspective that keep us from falling into that black abyss that will eventually suck your soul dry. It is funny to me, how perspective has the power to change a terrible situation into a funny one.

Yesterday, I was out climbing with a group of friends. The atmosphere was silly and laid back as it always is. Cracking jokes about each other, laughing and having a good time as we were sweating our butts off in the 106 degree heat, discussing how we couldn't wait to go to the Falls to go swimming. In the matter of half a second it quickly went from laid back fun, to downright terrifying to watch. My friend and I were placing gear on the edge of a cliff when she fell into me from a piece of gear that I had set, I caught her but in the end I failed to keep us both on the edge. We both fell about 20 feet to a small ledge that led to another 20-30 foot drop. Our friends saw it happen, and I think they were more scared than we were. Neither her nor I screamed, or panicked at the time.

Her face and a tree saved our lives. When we stopped tumbling, and took inventory to make sure we could move... the first thing she did was crack a joke about the gear not holding and I start laughing as I refuse to let her go from my death grip. We just fell 20 feet to the ground, her face just smashed into a tree, and I landed ass first on a big boulder into a thorn bush... and we are at the bottom laughing. We get up, dust ourselves off, and despite our bodies we were still willing to climb. I cried when I got home last night and spoke with my friend, I felt responsible for that gear not holding and us falling; however, I also know that if I wasn't standing there to catch her she would not have walked away from that fall at all because of the angle she was at when the gear popped out.

Perspective. It is what keeps us sane, it is what can keep us happy, it allows us to deal with stuff and keep moving forward. It allows us to take the shit we are dealt in life and laugh at it. We must keep laughing and we must stay positive or that black abyss will find our souls and eat away at them. I told my friend yesterday that I am never trad climbing again, but I think I lied. I lived through it, I am just banged up and sore. I would rather die doing something that I love than living a life comfortably numb to all emotion and experiences. A death by misadventure wouldn't be a terrible way to go, it beats dying of a heart attack.

Black Diamond #1 Nut, rated at 2 kn when placed properly.

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