Going Back Would Be Worse

The final quarter of the year is here, can you believe it?! As we prep for fall, I’d like to put some of the best lessons I learned over the summer in writing so I won’t forget them. Hopefully they will help you process whatever that is going on in your world too.


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One of the simplest yet memorable moments of learning I had this summer took place during my Cali trip in June. But before we dive in, I’d like to take a second and appreciate the paradise that is California. The weather, the food, the palm trees — everything!!

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Some of my faves from the trip: Cha cha Chicken (Santa Monica) and Malibu Farm Cafe (Newport). Didn’t get to explore the Asian food scene (which is amazing there), but I’d be sure to stop by some Indonesian and Chinese spots next time.

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The weather was so perfect, I called it Heaven Weather. For real! Heaven must feel like that! 65 degrees with a clear sky and a hint of warmth? Divine.

But okay, back to my fond learning moment, which actually took place during our epic hike in the famous Runyon Canyon.

We had planned for it about 3 weeks in advance so we were pretty well informed and prepared for the hike. Or so we thought.

First of all, I was convinced that wearing my Converse would be a good idea since I had seen photos of the paved trails around the canyon and I was too lazy to pack too many shoes for this trip.

Second of all, we thought we had double-checked the map of the shortest route that was supposed to be about less than 2 miles long.


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Lastly, using a scene from Insecure as a reference (pictured above, courtesy of HBO), I thought it was going to be a cute hike.

BUT! Just like how it often goes in life, the hike turned out to be a way different experience. 😳😳😳

We got there around 6:30 am, looked for parking, couldn’t find one, parked illegally (oops!), and then figured our way into the trailhead area.

The view was beautiful, we took a few cute pics, but then — it started to get really steep on our way down.


We were like “Okay, my butt is gonna feel this tomorrow,” but we were still on a paved road so no biggie, I thought.

But then we got to the bottom of the trail and guess what? It was kind of a dead-end.

We asked a stranger for direction but he was just as clueless! We checked the map and guess what?

The only way to close the loop and get back to the top (where our car was) was to go through this unpaved, sandy, uneven terrain.

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Y’all have to understand that I am not a person who works out regularly.

In fact, I do not work out AT ALL.

I take morning walks almost daily, but that’s not HIKING. What??!!!

It was steep, I mean, each step felt like a full LUNGE. And thanks to the sand, it was slippery!

Add the fact that I was wearing a pair of Converse and you have a disaster lol!

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As we struggled to catch our breath, two middle-aged hikers approached us and offered to take our group pictures.

They saw that we were struggling (and by we, I mean me) so they started giving us positive encouragements like, “If we could do it, you could too. We are in our 50s, and we’ve made to the top before.”

And then one of them dropped this gem before letting us go:

“Just remember, going back would be worse.”

WOW!!! That is a whole WORD right there.

I looked down and she was right. It was worse to go back. The way back was so steep and scary that our best bet was to keep climbing until we reached the top.

Doesn’t that sound like life tho?

We often feel intimidated by what lies ahead, so we’d entertain the idea of going back to where we were. Why? It’s familiar! We’ve gone through it before, therefore the level of difficulty is predictable and manageable.

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Obviously you CAN go back, if you choose to.

But we have to remember that any path we choose comes with its own set of challenges.

I’ve come to realize that there’s no wrong way in life. Life is so fluid and God is so gracious. At any given moment, we are one decision away from having a totally different life. It’s a matter of what we are willing to risk, what we are ready to learn, and what we refuse to give up.

You gotta look at your resources and energy level to determine which path is the best one for you to take. You can even confide in your fellow travelers that have stood by you along the way, while maintaining the humility to check in with the ultimate Guide as well.

As I was trying my best to hike back up to the top, I kept picturing us humans as travelers passing through life on our own epic hike.

At any given moment, we can choose to keep going or take breaks.

We can choose to stop and engage with our fellow travelers, or disengage.

We can choose to help others or assume they have it all figured out.

We can choose to receive help from others or try to make it on our own.


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We were sore for a week and as far as working out goes, I think I’m set until Thanksgiving hahah.

But! It was such a beautiful experience.

At the top of the canyon, I said a little prayer in my heart for the people in my life who have helped me in my epic hike of life!

I realized that although our life journey is our own, it is a communal experience! We are all just trying to get there, all trying to figure our way to our destination. And no matter how experienced or prepared we are, this epic hike comes with its set of unprecedented (yass, the 2020 word of the year had to make it to this post) twists and turns. That’s what makes life rich and beautiful.

Idk what kind of terrain you’re walking on right now, but keep going.

Don’t look back for too long. That’s not where we’re going.

Onward and upward, fam!

-Deb

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