My Twitter profile says that I’m on a journey. Truer words were never spoken. However, I’m not always thrilled with the location I find myself in.
I’m approaching the end of an era, as my birthday is tomorrow. After this 39th year is used up, lived through and over with I will be turning 40. The funny thing is, I’m not dreading it. In fact, getting there will mean I’ve accomplished something in a way – it will mean I will have made it to 40, not unscathed by any means, but that’s okay too. The bumps, bruises and wounds of life give us experiences that hopefully we learn from. In doing so, we receive wisdom as a reward.
When I was a kid I suffered from what my mom called “growing pains.” My legs would ache so badly at night I would lay in bed and cry. She rubbed my legs down with rubbing alcohol, an old-fashioned remedy and would tell me that sometimes it hurts to grow. This is true in life. All the pain, heartache and downright frustration serve a purpose. I don’t embrace these things well but I know they are necessary in order for me to grow emotionally and spiritually. I meet people all the time who only exist, could care less to look beyond the superficial and simply function. If that works for them, great. It doesn’t work for me. I need to know more, seek the deeper meaning, allow myself to hypothesize and theorize. I need to let myself daydream about different worlds and ideologies. I need the process of discovery.
Let’s go back to the journey I referenced when I started this. My friend and I went out for dinner and drinks last night. There isn’t exactly much culture in the rural area in which I live, unless you consider head-to-toe camouflage and missing front teeth as qualifiers. These people are not known for their sophistication; however, most of them are well meaning and friendly. I was invited to sing karaoke and dance on the bar with a couple of the locals. At one point I thought I misplaced my phone and everybody began looking for it. Although the sweet barmaid had no idea was a cosmopolitan was, she eagerly offered me a wine cooler to try free of charge. Like I said, friendly folk.
On this particular leg of my journey, I am learning that life is what you make of it. I could have sat at home and fussed about having no place interesting to go, but instead I allowed myself a new experience with new people. It’s true, I had to dig deep to find something in common with the people I commiserated with but, again, that had to do with my attitude and willingness to try. For instance, not a single one of them had read a story by Hemingway but they had heard of him – common ground just like that!
We can’t always be where we want to be, but we can enjoy the moments until we get there.