When I am surrounded by negativity, I remember how important it is to be a positive shining light through it all.
I am constantly listening to stories from young girls in and out of unfortunate situations who know nothing else other than hustling and stealing and drug use and even prostitution. It’s sad. I ask them if they ever want to change and they tell me that they don’t know how to change. They have had this way of life for so long. They are surrounded by people just like them, their family is all the same and their demographic is just like this. They would physically need to move away and start from scratch. But what happens when you move away? How do you start over when you know no other way? You may just have the same bad habits in a new location where you don’t know anyone. The same scheme repeats itself again and again….
I can’t believe that at one point, this was my life…not the full extent: I never stole or was a prostitute or anything like that but I was a slave to a self-destructive life style in one way or another. At one point I did not see any reason to change because I was walking this life with my eyes closed.
These girls ask me why I don’t have a husband or babies….and I ask them why they have numerous baby-daddies or why they teach their kids to steal? They ask me why I am so good and don’t do drugs or drink? I ask them why can’t they live their life without it? They ask me why I pay for things when it’s easier to steal? I ask them why they preach their bibles to me when they can’t even follow commandment #8.
We have many conversations and I wish I could show them what it’s like to walk through the mountains, to wake up to a sunrise right outside of your tent. To see the clouds move beneath your feet as you stand over blanket of fog. I wish I could tell them that the more you embrace the things you love, the more you don’t need the drugs, the alcohol, or that abusive relationship. I’ve been asking these girls to make a list of places they want to go, things they love to do, hobbies that bring them life. Surprisingly, they have quite the long list. I try to tell them that it is possible to have a life outside of the unhealthy cage that they have created. I try to tell them that if they spend each day, each week, each month doing at least one of those things on that list, their life will change dramatically.
The more you do what you love, the more you begin to love your life. It’s not about making a lot of money or finding that perfect mate, or having that perfect body…it’s about finding pure joy in doing whatever you do.
Someday I would like to create some sort of support group that brings troubled souls together for outdoor hikes. So many of these girls have never stepped foot on a mountain and I feel that everyone needs this in their life someday…and hopefully it’ll spring new possibility. This life is too beautiful to play small.