Feeling alive at Lehigh Gorge State Park

“Thus sometimes hath the brightest day a cloud;
And after summer evermore succeeds
Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold:
So cares and joys abound, as seasons fleet.”
– William Shakespeare

Lehigh Gorge State Park 10

The cold weather has arrived and it reminded me today just how cold winter feels, and that feeling means I’m alive. Life is short. So many people say that and that we should live each and every moment to the fullest. So many people say that too.

But what does it really mean? Do we feel each breath? Do we pay attention to each moment? Do we realize that each step we take, or the work we do, maybe our last?

To be present (to me) means that I experience everything, no sugar-coated stories.

Just reality.

Butermilk Falls Lehigh Gorge State Park

It’s amazing how many years I have spent in a bubble and not breathing, and feeling life. I wanted to believe all people are good and that “One Day” I’ll be a successful person, and that “One Day” I’ll do meaning full work, I’ll finally feel like I’ve made a difference in the world. The problem is, “One Day” never comes, and is in the distant future. If I continue down that path, I’ll be 90 (If I’m lucky) and still wait for that day.

I think about how I used food to cope with the pain of growing up as a kid who doesn’t fit in with others. I used food as a crutch to help ease my pain in my 20s but also added drinks and smoking to the mix, to haze my reality that I wasn’t wanting to experience at the time. The reality was hard to see back then, and it isn’t always awesome right now. The truth is, life is hard, painful, and sad sometimes. It’s challenging, but that difficult time I have had will help me appreciate things in the future. I’ve learned that.

I want to experience every moment with no filters. That’s truly living. Can I survive a life without the substances that get us through the challenges? I believe so if I believe in myself, and the power that I have with the ability to face conflict, and challenge, and win. There’s no doubt that I can preserve.

I want to feel everything. Pain, and joy, both are a reminder that I’m alive.

Hawk Falls 2


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