Where I Climb Another Mountain

Almost three years ago, I climbed my first mountain.  Honestly, it was so out of character that it was just as likely that I would commandeer the space shuttle, or become fluent in Swahili.  Climbing anything was not really my thing.  But I made it up there (mostly) and back in one piece, and I was pretty impressed with myself.  Driving home the next day I thought to myself, dammit, if I can climb a mountain I can find a boyfriend, and so that very night when I got home I dusted off my old Match.com profile and set to surfing.  I disregarded all my usual criteria – must have a PhD, must be very tall, must play guitar – because, let’s face it, that criteria?  not getting me anywhere.

Some hours later, I found the profile of a guy who seemed smart, funny, kind, and who liked both cats and hiking.  He did not match my old criteria, but there was something about him that made me pause before I hit “send” on that message.  Am I ready for this?  I asked myself.  But of course  I was.  I had just climbed a mountain.  I was ready for anything.


On Saturday, I climbed another mountain, this time with that same man I messaged almost three years ago.  He was my boyfriend for a couple of years– but as of six weeks or so ago, he became my fiancee.  Apparently throwing out my (utterly ridiculous) criteria did the trick.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”  ~Joseph Campbell


We hiked Pack Monadnock, a smaller sister of Mount Monadnock – the first mountain I climbed.  About a third of a the way up Pack, there is an outcropping where you can see Monadnock.  It was a poetic moment for me to take this picture, knowing that I’d stood on that peak a few years ago, and thinking about what that hike had set in motion:

mount monadnock

I should pause here to say that I completely and totally lied to my parents about how I met E., because All People on the Internet are Murderers {present company excluded, of course} and thus, despite my advanced age, my parents had forbidden me to do online dating.  But one of the best things about E. is he cannot lie, or at least not very well, and so pretty early on my mom knew my story wasn’t the truth.  Here’s the weird part though:  about a year or so into our relationship we went to a cookout with E’s two best friends and their families, where I discovered that I had gone to college with his friend Dave for two years, and Dave had been good friends with my friend Diane and had also been roommates with one of my college boyfriends.  It was absurd, really.  I had to troll the internet for this guy, and it turned out we had three degrees of separation?  Ridiculous.  But it made me feel a whole lot better about the involvement of the internet.  It was simply a means to an end.  Or a beginning, really.

pm butterfly

I’m convinced we would have found each other somehow, eventually.

pm summit


About Lori Allen Writes

Lori is plotting to take over the world one essay, one quilt, and one hand knit sock at a time.
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