Friday, April 29, 2016

Sending Smoke Signals

Its about that time of year- the "burnout" stage. The point in the year, semester, work period where we all just stop caring, fall in a rut, or lose sight of our purpose- our call for help : our smoke signal. There are a couple of different paths we can take at this point, most all of them are broken down into the "easy" and the "challenging". For example, those who remain determined, pushing themselves continually through comfort zones; versus those who lose focus, and simply "get by" . Our first path in this example is pretty challenging to begin with, but at the end of the semester the difficulty level increases tenfold for most, finals are here, seasons are coming to final competitions, and friends begin to check out for the summer. It is easy for us to withdraw, to fall behind on our academics, and to mindlessly trudge through our day. How will you respond?
A couple of days ago, I turned down an opportunity to go see a band I'm obsessed with because I was exhausted. When I had talked to my Dad about it, I told him I knew I needed the sleep, the study time, and a quiet night to recollect so I didn't ruin all the work I had put in over the semester. His response? "If you gave up now, it would be like running an entire race just to walk off before the last lap", and he couldn't have put it into a better metaphor (for his track- obsessed, metaphor loving daughter)- and then most everything made sense. Of course I am still exhausted and fighting my urge to pack up and leave this minute- but I know that I never could, not now, not after everything I've worked for. In the past few weeks I could easily walk away from friendships, teams, and relationships that took work and effort. I could withdraw from everyone and everything with the excuse that summer is near, and people I have become close with will be far. I could throw away everything I have built with people in my life that I enjoy and love, I could conveniently forget the good and the bad we've had together, and just walk away. While this all sounds pretty pessimistic and dark, it is something I have seen happen all too much in just the past three days alone. People turning their backs simply because life gets tough, making excuses for their fear rather than voicing their concerns. Relationships and friendships that could have been preserved, started, or saved with communication, a promise, and a little bit of passion. The road less traveled, while often challenging, is absent of the ruts and monotony that characterize the path taken by so many lately; and as much as I am fed up with the indifference hanging in the air - I refuse to follow in suit. When the bell is rung for the last lap...will you be on the track?
With love & faith,
A Duck With Fire

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