Becoming a Park Ranger.

The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast and you miss all you are traveling for.
— Louis L'Amour

Last week I shared a story about how I accidentally ended up moving to Washington State, and about the importance of following your dreams.  Fulfillment is no joke - without it, we humans tend to struggle.  Personally, I know that finding fulfillment in my life is absolute a critical piece of everything that I do.  Unless I feel like I'm somehow contributing to the greater good or helping to serve others in some small way, I find myself feeling lost.  

Maybe it's just me, but when I have my mind set on a goal,  I find myself constantly needing a reminder that the journey is part of the process.  When I'm hiking or climbing, I readily accept that this is true - I know that each part of a trip, each individual step, is mandatory in order to complete the journey as a whole.  For some reason, that concept is much harder for me to grasp in the non-hiking world.  I find myself wanting immediate results or change or insta-progress ... and that just isn't how things work.  Each goal, each accomplishment, each event in our lives is shaped by all of the various steps that we took to reach those points.  You can't have one without the other - an "event" without the journey simply lacks the fulfillment that we crave as humans.  

Yes, I was a violin playing ranger.  

Yes, I was a violin playing ranger.  

Sharing my park ranger story last week made me think a lot harder about that process that I went through over a decade ago, when I decided that I wanted to become a ranger.  It was really the first time in my life that I had a career goal and something that I wanted so badly that I could literally feel it in my soul.  

In my natural habitat.  

In my natural habitat.  

And so, I present episode #2 in, "Anastasia doesn't take a shower and films a video" - and, as a bonus, I get choked up and I cry in this one.  But hey, I'm not afraid to admit that I have emotions (at least one of them), and I'm really proud to share my story and I hope it can inspire you to embrace whatever part of the journey you are on in your own life.  

Whatever you want for yourself in your own life - absolutely, never ever stop climbing and dreaming!  If you find yourself becoming frustrated with the process, just remember that someday you will look back and those moments of frustration will be the ones that make you the most proud.