That 'In the Middle' Feeling

Right now feels like halfway.

I'm halfway into an album (Thank you kickstarter folks!)

Courtney and I are about 40% into paying off some student loans.

Though this blog doesn't have an end in sight, after 85 posts at this address and another 100 or so on a previous blog, three posts a week can feel muddled.

To top it all off, I'm four solid chapters into a book I'm hoping to finish by the end of the year.

Croagh_patrick_pathI went hiking in the Bolivian Andes, which is a much less romantic than it sounds. 16,500ft is merciless. The despair of an oxygen deprived brain trying to convince tired legs that hiking among semi-domesticated llamas and beside mountainside potatoes fields in 45 degree fog is fun can be overwhelming. But you take another step, step, step, step. When a 5'3" 220lb Quechua woman marches by you while spinning yarn (seriously, spinning yarn) you shake your fist at the arrogant superiority of the portly gal's legs, then you walk some more. (But she too has her middles to plod through.) By the time the lake oversized pond we were set to camp at was in sight, we found strength to sprint.

With beginnings the world is fresh. You step out the door at that magical hour before sunrise, a fog slinking over the fields along the path you've started on. Beginnings become an immediate outlet for all the ideas, the training, the anticipation that you've built for so long now. Everything seems fresh and new –so casually prosperous.

With endings you can see completion approaching, you can sprint, tye up loose ends, hitting last minute deadlines with a bit of stress but driven by the joy of a project come together. Finishing well is important and it's own challenge, but very few ventures die in the final stages.

But with half-ways, middles, or muddles in narrative terms, the sun that cast such a magical light at sunrise now makes you wish you had brought a better hat or worn shorts. There is a sense of accomplishment, but it's the sort of sense that tempts you to a well deserved break that usually turns into an entire afternoon of napping. Yes you've come a long way, but there is still much farther to go and the inspiration is running dry.

And so I step, step, step, step, knowing that endings are slow but coming.