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Have you ever wanted to escape the world? To climb high into the mountains until you reach the clouds? Maybe you want to hop on a boat and sail away into the ocean as the waves take you away, and just let the worries of this world slowly fade away.
This was my mindset one crisp, autumn day in Tennessee as I began to ascend up the mountainside and escape the world, if only for a little while.
This was a trail that I had done many times before, but today I just needed to get away. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.
You see, for years I had carried around the weight of my past—a past ridden with depression, anxiety, abuse, and numerous other battles that just no longer seemed worth fighting.
As I approached the summit of the hike, I noticed that on this particular day there was a storm coming in. As I got to the top of the mountain, instead of being greeted with that breathtaking view I was accustomed to, I was greeted with thick, black clouds, roaring thunder, and flashing lightning.
As I stood on top of that mountain, tears began pouring from my eyes, not because of the storm, but because of the overwhelming mental health battle that I had been facing for so many years.
I stood on top of that mountain for what seemed like forever, but in reality was probably only a few minutes. But then, I began to see something different. You see, I have been going to these mountains my entire life. I’d done this particular hike more times then I can count. However, this time was like nothing I had ever experienced, and I’ve never experienced anything quite like it since.
As I was standing “on top of the world,” I began to view life a little bit differently. As I looked out over the storm clouds rolling in, I began to see a different, unique beauty in the mountains that I had never seen before.
You see, this beauty not only relates to those picturesque mountains, but also to those mental health battles that I was facing, and that millions around the world—including many of you reading this today—face every single day.
That day I realized that life isn’t always going to look how we think it will look.
In fact, it often looks quite different. When we battle with mental health, and other difficulties, it’s really about learning to see the beauty in the pain.
Ultimately, I believe that is what life is about. No matter what battle you may be facing today, please know that you are not alone. Know that you can make it through. Know that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes, but it’s not okay to stay that way. Keep moving forward. Keep reaching out. One step at a time.
From my experience that day, actually while I was standing in that storm on that mountain, I wrote a song entitled, "On Top Of The World." As I stood there, the following chorus came to me, and I later went on to finish the song to further encompass my full experience that day.
“It’s raining on top of the world
The rain keeps coming down
The height ain’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
Yeah it’s raining on top of the world.
Now my tears are falling down.
Is this really all we see on top of the world.”
No matter what battle you may be facing today, or what life may bring you in the future, always remember to look for the beauty. Sometimes it doesn’t look like what we expect and it’s right in front of us. Sometimes we have to slow down, change our perspective, and look just a little bit closer.
My debut single, "On Top Of The World," that inspired this article, is also available online now. The lyric video is below!