This is a letter I just wrote to a client of mine. We climbed Mt. Denali (AKA Mckinley) together this in May. It was a several week expedition.
Long time no talk. I really hope you are doing well. I had such a great time climbing this summer. And the company was... spectacular. Hilarious and stimulating at the same time.
I'm in the middle of an essay for my philosophy class right now - and somehow you popped into my head. This is going to get real deep real quickly... so hold on tight.
One of the things you asked me in Talkeetna [town at base of Denlai] has stuck with me. And I don't know why. But I think about it all the time. And now (right now) I finally made some progress on answering your question.
When we were in the brewery on our first night down a few people commented that they "couldn't believe that I was 21." You correctly assumed that I had heard that before.
You then turned to me and asked "What does that mean to you? - What do you feel when people ask you that?" before we could chat about that, the heard was on the move to the fairview [local bar]. And we know how the rest of the night went from there.... [downhill]
But that question stuck with me. I still don't know exactly what I feel when people say that. But I know it is comforting - It makes me feel accomplished. I feel like I'm using my life efficiently when I hear that. I feel that I'm not wasting time.
Now that I'm about to leave school (graduate in May)... I've been thinking a lot about what I'm going to do. I have a thousand ideas: travel, big companies, small companies, guiding, philosophy, computer science, surfing, writing.... and I don't know what to do.
I worry that someday someone will hear my age and think "He is 30, and this is all he has done." Even more I fear that I will look at myself and think "wow, that was a waste of time." And I guess every time someone says "I can't believe you are only-" I also think of that.
I don't mean to take this rant to a dark place - I feel good things in my future. I have great things now. But.... I suppose what I'm saying is this...
Many people have said to me "I cant believe you are only-" and you are the only one to think about what that means. And it took me several months to figure out what it means to me.
To me, it means that I have used my time efficiently. And I've gotten lucky. And that I don't want to stop being efficient or getting lucky.
Anyway. Really would love to hear what you are up to as well. I feel really fortunate that we were able to climb together this summer and I look forward to staying in touch. A meet a lot of people as a guide and it's fun to meet people like you that I look up to, and that I want to be more like.
Take care and keep in touch,