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You’re A Valley Girl “For Sure”

3 Comments 12 June 2010

Wow, that post yesterday sure stirred the pot!  I was just thinking out loud, as usual and I have heard quite a bit from you girls out there.  I love it when that happens.  The whole idea of the Big Life and peaking early seems to have touched a nerve.  I will probably be writing about some of the responses for a few days, but today I want to talk about my friend Judy (Judy’s Op-Ed Page) and one of the things that she said in her response to me.  She is very thoughtful and always has great insight and today was no exception.

Here is a part of what Judy had to say in response to Did I Peak Early?:

You like to talk about peaking and climbing peaks…since I gave up backpacking years ago, I prefer to just talk about paths and roads. Sometimes they are winding roads and sometimes we choose or have to take detours, but the interesting thing about life is that you can be like a perennial, blossoming slightly different each spring.

Hopefully, along the way you leave trail markers (cairns) for your children, your friends, your readers…and remember the best view is not always from the top of the mountain. I know this because most of my life I have lived in valleys: Sweetwater Valley, San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley, Mt Washington Valley, and Tucson (completely surrounded by mountain ranges).

Mountains may inspire us, but the valleys are created by rivers and streams…they give us life.

Judy’s thoughts were lovely and I was sharing them with my friend, who remarked with a big smile, “Well, you’d know all about that, you’re a valley girl for sure!”  We both laughed for a good while and then I told her that I get my best stuff from her!  While Judy was discussing literal valleys, my years have been full of emotional ones and I have been given life in abundance as a result.  Valleys, like everything in this life, have their paradoxes.  They can be barren and painful times in our lives and yet from that time can be born the most amazing results, things that we could have never imagined possible.  The difficult times in our lives can bear the most beautiful fruit.

Of course there are rivers and streams in the valleys, but the light can be dim and the rocks craggy; the going can be slow and and exhausting when you seldom know what is around the next bend.  I have often said in the last couple of  years that I just keep thinking that we (our family) are going to round the corner, but we can’t find that damn corner.  As we move along, looking for those corners, I do feel as if our lives are very “perennial” in nature with cycles of growth and blooming.  That is a beautiful picture that Judy mentioned.  And I hope that I have left trail markers along the way, even on the trails that I feel were detours of sorts.

I have been a valley girl, “for sure,” and I know that all that I have walked through, even the disappointments that I look back on in my Big Life and question, have all served a purpose.  As Judy so wisely pointed out, even the paths that seem to us as detours have lead us to where we find ourselves today.  I love the idea of a road with twists and turns, , winding through my life.  I have no idea what is around the bend, as usual, but I fully intend to keep moving.  I hope there are peaks and mountain tops in my future, simply because I believe the valleys can not be fully appreciated without them.  However, I would never, ever, discount my personal valleys…they have and continue to give me the hope to keep moving forward and the belief that that I have miles to go before I sleep.

Thanks Judy for the insight on the valleys and to my friend for reminding me that, “Like, whatever, I’m a valley girl” and better because of it! Love you!

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3 Comments so far

  1. I may have had a technical problem (imagine me having a tech problem) hell, I have a professional copywriter on retainer to catch my mistakes, right Judy?)

    WelI started a comment about my peak- mine was in high school- they hit the mark when voted me most likely to succeed-

    award winning blog that posts on its own… blows fuses on hyperlinks- you name it, I’ve done it.

    But, girl, I come to your site for the quiet- and the order- now don’t get the idea I like camping because you are talking about valleys and Judy is talking about outdoors and curves- my idea of camping is the Holiday Inn with a window unit.

    I am rambling- you do that as you climb back up 😉 see you on the porch in the morning,

    Yes, I did have things screwed up on your location- roger, Alabama- over and out


  2. Judy Helfand says:

    Hi Jorja and Ridgely,
    You both make me giggle. I am going on record again, I don’t do hiking, camping, backpacking, rafting…anymore. You can read about my perspective here
    My husband kids that roughing it for Judy is a hotel without room-service. Of course, that is an exageration…and he risked my life more than once in the wilderness, as did the first husband.
    Truth is, I was discussing more than literal valleys, but hasn’t this all been a great conversation.
    Here is a song for the two of you…
    See you on the porch,

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things to make you wonder~

“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them...” Annie Dillard

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