The silent fall of snowflakes on my hair, in my lap, and on the tree tops that I drift passed. Each unique feathery crystal adds to the infinite white that surrounds me, like the unique events that have accumulated in my life that make me who I am. Everything is muffled through my helmet, and the world with all of its harsh features is muted through tinted goggles; the sheltered environment one grows up in where they sit maturing and preparing for the excitement of independence before they are released into the world of college. It is then, when I am sitting alone, when I appreciate all I am blessed with. It is when I sort through my values and beliefs. It is when I reflect on the snowflakes of events that have thus far created the snowy landscape of my 17 years.
Not all transits on this wonderful contraption are solitary, however. Talking to new people and exchanging worldviews is valuable. The chairlift allows for mutual exchange of thought, even if the conversation is not intellectually deep or philosophically driven. Both individuals on this chairlift ride of life can recycle select ideas of the other and add to their own beliefs. Valuable interactions with people like my teachers in school make up much of who I am. The warmth of another human next to you is sometimes comforting. When the chairlift stops and you find yourself swinging, making no progress, cold, and just wanting to be at your destination these individuals provide solace. The stopping of the chairlift: changes in plans, or perhaps struggles in life are both paralleled to this. Individuals, like my parents, ride out struggles with me and encourage me to overcome. The stopping of a chairlift is not permanent, neither are the trials I have experienced.
My journey upwards continues. Ears pop and I am reminded of my destination. My destination; independence. The excitement in my chest bubbles to a boil as I reach the apex of the mountain. The restraint bar, like my parents, holding me back, but at the same time protecting me from the drop to icy rocks below me. My stomach flips as I raise the bar. Two seconds later, I am gone. This journey is complete, so that another might begin. It seems to have come and gone as quickly as a dream. I have left the serenity and anticipation of the chairlift with no sign of my being there, save the two impressions left in the snow by my skis.
Going on the chairlift is part of skiing; living at home with your parents is part of life. I value the perspectives I can explore on the chairlift just as I value the experiences that have made up my childhood and young adult years. The meaningfulness of the chairlift stays with me as I ski down the mountain, as will my journey to adulthood.