Every generation is hungry for something. Ours might be hungry for, not cars nor houses, but for adventures and once in a lifetime experiences.
My best vacation experiences have revolved around a hobby that I hold dear - climbing. To me climbing has brought not only adventures to remember years after but also amazing friends to share those adventures with. For me climbing is an answer to the question: How to find an intriguing purpose to live for in your daily activities? This brings another question: am I selfish when imposing myself to life threatening danger of freefall while my beloved ones impatiently wait at home?
Perpetual desire for freedom Climbing, especially mountain climbing is plainly put dangerous. Staring into hundreds of meters deep abyss while supporting your weight on tiny foot holds feels intimidating or even frightening sometimes. In this situation it is empowering to have a feeling of control in the middle of threatening elements of the high mountain terrain. A feeling of freedom is evident, when I can have a relatively safe passage to one of the most hostile environments.
Nevertheless, our loved ones at home might never have experienced the same feeling of control on a climb and thus they might see selfishness in my pursuit for freedom. Our dearest are obviously onto something.
Healthy selfishness a common advice given in pop culture is that you should follow your passion to whatever end. I understand this advice in a sense of living with no regrets, but driven into extreme you might find yourself bitterly alone one day.
I feel a strong need to also consider my family in my hobbies, yet I don't want to abandon my passion for climbing. Is there room for a compromise? The art of compromise When I go out for a climb, how can I set my loved ones at ease? I guess I cannot do that never completely, but there is a lot to do nevertheless. I can always explain my intentions patiently and also take their opinions into consideration in my route planning. But most importantly I can prepare myself for all the possible challenges the mountain can offer. It takes years to excel in mountain climbing, but after doing that you gain control in possibly life threatening situations. Confidence built by thorough preparation builds confidence in people around me.
Conflicting values are nothing new in life. If I have some room for compromises, I hope others close to me will endure me as well and have the same latency for compromises when it comes to more serious aspects of life than climbing.
- Miika Mesilaakso