Mountain Classroom

Craving unstructured teachings, I submitted my application to The School of Hard Knocks and was rejected. Yes! I thought to myself, I must have gained admission. Quickly, however, I realized that was not my acceptance letter. Exploring this planet curiously, with my eyes open and my ears perked, I dreamt of becoming many things focused on rejecting the American Dream I grew up knowing. Yet, I never got away.

Living out of a tent, a car, and eventually upgrading to my current residence, The Princess—a dodge van—I realize I am no different from my peers who walked, instead of cartwheeling, across the stage to receive their diploma and a hand-shake from the university president. We all continued developing our craft, building and losing relationships, and dumbfounded by the steep learning-curve of patience.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Be patient and you will get what you deserve. These mantras have rung in my ears from those who have worked hard for the last 20 years. Those who have a house, a car, a life-partner, two kids, and a dog. Those who have a 401(k), retirement plan, and two weeks paid vacation. Those whose complaints are not of survival, nor necessity, but of desire.

Awaiting my admission to The School of Hard Knocks, I remain wide-eyed and listening curiously to the world. Thankfully, I’ve dipped my toes in the alpine lakes of the mountain amphitheater, where my teacher patently guides me through her lessons of continual unlearning.