Journey (Not the Band)
Today’s Words of Wisdom:
“Life is a journey, not a destination.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Foda’s Take: This concept has taken some time for me to get used to. I first heard it several years ago on my honeymoon in Hawaii, where my husband and I rented a jeep wrangler and began our three hour trek through the lush mountains and beautiful (albeit sometimes super dangerous) roads (you should never have to beep on a one-car lane just to make sure someone isn’t coming straight at you from around a blind corner when the “other side of the road” is really a vertical drop-off down a cliff….ahhh!!!!!) where was I? Oh, right! We were on a three hour ride to Hana- a place I was told I just had to see. Mandalf kept stopping along the way at all these beautiful little beaches and overlooks and I was all like: “Where’s Hana? When will we get there? What will I see?” And my husband- who had lived in Hawaii for a while before we started dating- looked at me, smiled, and said: “The Road to Hana isn’t about the destination. It’s about the journey.” And I was all like: “Damn. Less than one week of marriage and he’s already winning.”
Okay, I’m going to be super real with you right now. I just stared at those two words for a solid minute without writing anything. Why? Because the only way my brain wanted to finish that sentence was “The Journey: Sometimes sucks.” Then I decided to stop censoring myself and just go for it. Because let’s get real. Sometimes, life as a process? Not so much sunshine and daisies. But with that being said, I also believe with all my heart that anything difficult and uneasily won usually brings the most important changes into our lives. And it’s also what makes a life interesting to watch. After all, you wouldn’t go see a movie if you walked in, saw the exposition, and then two minutes later it cut right to the final scene in the movie where everyone ends up, right? I mean, c’mon, that would be, like, the worst movie ever. I do sometimes wish that we had an edit button for life, though… I mean, I’m pretty sure this chronic illness would be a lot easier for me to handle if I could cram it all into the space of two hours before getting my happy ending. But I digress.
I’ve really been making an effort lately to think about my difficult life as a “journey” with all the obstacles in my path “adventures.” I think that’s because twisting my thinking to use these words helps me find strength and empowerment in my illness- an illness that often makes me feel ashamed and weak if I let it get inside my head about what I can and cannot do. But if I change that shame over how little I can accomplish physically (right now, that is) into pride over how a lesser person perhaps wouldn’t be able to weather these obstacles with the perseverance and determination I work so hard to have… well that makes it a bit better, doesn’t it? That makes my journey okay… because although I’d love nothing more than to jump straight to the finish line, I believe without a shadow of a doubt that I am on this path to learn things and become someone I could have never hoped to evolve into, had I gotten healthy right away.
So I guess I’d like to end today’s words of wisdom right where we began.
The Journey: Sometimes sucks. But sometimes it’s the parts we like the least that lead us to places we never imagined.
Just ask The Emperor. OH, wait. You can’t. Because he died while giving Luke 1,000 volts of premium blue lightening. And then that Force-fried victim two shakes from a shallow grave wound up being the savior of the galaxy and leader of the new Jedi Order.
Bet he didn’t see that one coming. Stupid Emperor.