climbing the Great Wall, originally uploaded by pilgrimgirl.

“We do not belong to those who only get their thoughts from books,
or at the prompting of books, -- it is our custom to think in the open air, walking, leaping, climbing, or dancing on lonesome mountains by preference,
or close to the sea,where even the paths become thoughtful.”
~Friedrich Nietzsche

Someone once said to me, that because I've had to fight so hard for things in my life (living with a disability has that effect), sometimes I don't know when to stop fighting.

I've been thinking a lot about that lately. I enjoy the challenge that comes from doing something new or proving that I'm strong enough to take on the 'impossible.' But I know I need to pick and choose my challenges. I can't do it all, and I need to guard my energy for the things that matter most.

A friend called me a 'renegade' yesterday when we were discussing my lifepath. He suggested that I can't take the easy way out or follow the herd. He was right in some sense--I crave distinction and I find it more satisfying to live by my values than to conform to society. But I do wonder how much of my choice to live differently is based on an inherent enjoyment of the struggle, rather than the actual outcome.

Pic taken of me (by Dora) in 2005 on my way up the Badaling section of the Great Wall--a tough climb for someone who is as leery of heights as I am--those steps are super steep. But I had to climb even though my tummy was doing backflips--because I just had to!

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