Yesterday I had the good fortune of setting aside time for a day hike out near the Pisgah National Forest. Close to the town of Boone, NC is the Grandfather Mountain Trail. The highest point, Calloway Peak, is a harrowing 5,964 feet above sea level. Ever since graduation I wanted to ascend to my state’s highest point. As I went closer to the top I had the good fortune of meeting several different people. I happened across two men that were professional mountaineers that went across the Alps, Pyrenees, and Patagonia. They taught me, as I ascended, never to rush myself to the summit. I should, like many things in life, take my time and see my surroundings. I was treated to a stunning vista as I reached the top of the range as the entire valley was displayed before me.
I had a sense of profound peace from seeing this vista. For the past year or so I dedicated my every waking movement to making my Graduate program as productive as possible. I felt that this hike was what I needed to cap it off. When I stopped I met a young couple, a fella by the name of Walter and his fiancee Kristin. They came down from Richmond,Virginia to camp out in the wilderness. Being exhausted and throughly beaten by nature we had a sit down for a while. Walter was a manger for a Pizza chain while Kristin was finishing her degree in Mass Comm. They talked about how they came up to get out of the city and see a bit of the country, something I was looking for as well. We also talked about how necessary it was to be out in the world and to not put blinders on all the time for commitments. I wished them well on their new life together as their marriage is in September. They also congratulated me on my finishing my studies and hoped for the best in my new future. As I went down the mountain I felt energized and determined to explore the job market, no matter what the news stations and the papers said about the economy, I was determined to make my mark.