Progress is Progress

Imagine climbing up a steep, steep cliff. You have to use your hands and your feet. Sweat drips into your eyes, and you might even hear the roar of the ocean below you or the wind whistling by your ears. It's exhausting, and you tell yourself not to look down as your grip the outcroppings and search for the next foothold. Finally, you feel a rock dig into your knee as you push yourself up the last foot or so, and as you sit down, exhausted, you look over the edge of the cliff and laugh. "I did that!" you think to yourself. Gazing down, you realize you made it pretty far. You congratulate yourself and any climbing buddies you might have. That was a crazy idea! 

Now, imagine that you are walking across the Midwest. The wind is blowing, so it's not too hot, but the quiet sway of the grass around you is just a little eerie. You pick up your backpack and start to walk. The scenery never changes significantly. There are no cliffs to climb and all of the rivers are safe to cross. You just have to keep walking, leaving a single pair of footprints behind you. This is not the kind of journey most people want to go on, and from the beginning you knew that the daily, invisible progress was not going to show. After a few hours of the morning have passed, you absently wonder how far you've gone. However, it doesn't really matter. You know that you'll be at this for a while, so you might as well keep putting one foot in front of the next. Your big adventure, is, admittedly, a little monotonous. Finally, finally, you reach your destination. You buy yourself a Coca-Cola to celebrate. Someone asks if you've been working out or something. "You have no idea," you say, and you savor the feeling of a cold drink. 

I see progress in both of these ways. Final exams are a cliff. Saving money is crossing the Midwest. I'd like to remind everyone on the internet (including myself) that progress is still progress. Sometimes moving forward feels impossible because of difficulties, and other times it feels difficult because of the endurance required. Hang in there. Not everyone will see your journey as cliff-climbing, but it might be, and the most monotonous endurance journey will have a few bluffs. It's all a part of the journey, and remember, progress is progress. You can do it.