This I Believe

Meghan - Fort Collins, Colorado
Entered on April 20, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Life is A Trail

I recently had the privilege of spending six months studying abroad in New Zealand. It was in this unimaginably beautiful country that I met Brad and Evan. By the end of month two Evan and I were starting to understand each other. Around month three Brad became my boyfriend. They are the type of friends that stand the test of time. For six months we traveled, slept, ate, talked, cried, laughed, and loved, together. We three took on New Zealand and gave everything a go, but above all we walked. Our relationship was sealed for me the week I lost, in two tragic phone calls, both my lifelong dog and my grandfather. I was living eight thousand miles away from home, with no money to fly home or personal power to comfort my family. I said to myself, “Right now I am just going to focus on existing and breathing. In and out, breathing, because that is what I have right now.” It was during this time of personal challenges that I found my belief.

I believe life is a trail. I believe we walk forward. Happiness is my philosophy. Happiness is something that is integrated into my life; it is my motivation on the trail. I think the trail is a pattern of perfection, and we are all part of perfect nature. I see the patterns of nature in colorful hillsides, perfectly balanced trees, and rainbow skies. I think people integrate themselves into the form of the trail. Sometimes paths are complicated, but sometimes they are simple. The trail is a song with both a pattern and a tempo. The beat and rhythm change in unpredictable ways. There are many obstacles. Frequently footing is lost, periodically people fall. People can choose what speed they want to travel on the path, but acknowledging the tempo makes the journey easier. The sequence can be seen clearly when focus is positive. The, “I can” philosophy really is the only one that can. It is not always possible to change the trail. The trail is what people make it.

I connect this with happiness and life because I think happy people are the ones who have learned to flow with the path. Truly happy people are happy even when they are taking on obstacles. Inspired people look at a mountain and see the view on top. Happy people look at obstacles and don’t panic; they are people who despite the difficulty of the path still enjoy it for its beauty. Today Brad is still my boyfriend, and my love for both Evan and Brad runs deep. We walked together as friends, which built a bond that showed me the beauty of life and gave me the strength to learn from loss. The day I started backpacking my life became a trail and my destination became the journey. So even if I am wrong, I find my happiness in the belief that we walk forward, on a trail called life.