Kelley Raye

atlanta lifestyle photographer | a girlboss' guide to uphill battles

Kelley Raye
atlanta lifestyle photographer | a girlboss' guide to uphill battles

Edit// This post was chosen to be featured on The Heart Mag! See my feature here.

This morning I woke up from an interesting dream. One of those dreams that you feel in your actual body, leaves you tingling as if your soul actually took a trip somewhere and made it back just before you opened your eyes.

I dreamt that I went to visit someone. Their house, along with everyone else’s on that side of the street, was down an extremely steep hill. Driveway and everything. Why would you even build your....anyway. I don’t remember much of my visit, but when it was time to go, I walked out of the house and realized I would have to make my way back up this hill to the street. It seemed steeper than it was before. It was all grass, just like a regular lawn, it was just very, very steep. I noticed other people from other houses climbing up, so I started to climb to.

I started scaling the lopsided lawn like an indoor rock climbing exploration. I moved up a little, to the side, found a place for my foot here, found some grass I could pull myself up on there. But it was getting harder.

The further up I managed to climb, the steeper the hill seemed. I couldn’t even see the curb. A girl casually walks by me on the left. She has on Adelaide’s (below) white Free People shirt and brown cowboy boots. She’s playing with a flower while she walks. She’s not even using her hands to climb the hill. She’s like totally defying gravity right now! Who the hell is this? So I think to myself, well maybe if I can just get in her path, and follow the same way she's going, I can surely make it to the top. I mean that makes sense right? She obviously found an easier route because Im like struggling over here.

I try to swing over a little but I couldn't. There was nothing for me to grab that would allow me to align with where the other girl was stepping. I couldn't put myself in her wake, or put my feet where she was putting hers. I realized her journey wasn't going to be mine. I would have to find another way to the top.

I look back down at the houses and notice I’m in the very middle of the hill. The houses below are too far away now and the curb at the top is still out of reach. If I let go, I’m not going to just go rolling back down the hill, I would legit fall and probably bounce several times. It's clear to me that letting go is going to physically hurt more than being stuck in the middle.

I literally can't pull myself up anymore. There’s nowhere to put my feet, there’s nothing for me to grab. I’m stuck. A lady decked out in hiking gear walks by on my right and I whimper because I don't have the energy to yell “help, help.” She too isn’t using her hands as she climbs up. What’s the deal? She takes one look at me and says “ Oh you don’t have on the right shoes. You need mountain cleats.” Mountain cleats? As if I could just run to the store and grab some real quick. Obviously feeling like she helped me solve my problem, she continues her effortless climb to the top and I remain stuck. I’m literally in an uphill battle. I see what you did there subconscious.

I look back down and back up one more time. Knowing my arms will give out soon, I signal to my conscious that I'd rather wake up then fall.

According to some dream interpretations, climbing a steep hill is a reference to where one is in their life in relation to where they want to be. Every true girlboss knows its hard work climbing steep hills every f'in day not knowing when you’ll reach the top. It’s also hard and slightly depressing watching other people pass by you with what appears to be little to no effort, meanwhile you’re hanging on a rock for dear life just trying not to fall, just trying to avoid going backwards, just trying not to have to start over.

Crazy shit right there.

We all deal with uphill battles daily. These are the struggles of being an entrepreneur, being the captain of your own ship. But its how we deal with these battles that defines who we truly are, what we really want, and what we're willing to do to get it. What are you willing to do to get yourself to the top? I didn't quite make it to the top in my dream, but I didn't let go though either. That wasn't an option. Sometimes you've just come too far to start over, to let go, to give in to whats 'hard' and fall back down to easy. Sometimes you've just come too far.

So how should we handle crazy uphill battles? Well for starters, don't ever assume you're on the wrong path, because you are exactly where you should be. And next, remember that this is your journey, not someone else's. You cant leave your path behind and follow directly behind someone else. You cant get to the top on someone else's terms. Our paths, although we are all inevitably headed in the same direction, are our own. We all have hills to climb. And I'm positive that they are totally climbable.

So before you give up, before you let go, before you start comparing your journey to everyone else's... girl, first check to make sure you even have on the right shoes.

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Ohhhh and this is Adelaide :) She's awesome, she likes Free People, she's from CT too, and we did this.