Thursday, August 27, 2015

A place called there

It is often said that life isn't about the destination, but is instead about the journey required to get there, wherever there is. That all assumes that a place called "there" exists.

I know that my vision of there has changed dramatically over the years, altered irrevocably by the very journey I believed myself to be on in order to get there.

I've never arrived.

You have to wonder though what happens in the event someone ever ends up exactly where intended to someday, or at least these are the things I wonder about. What happens when and if the life train pulls into that station? If you've completed the precise goal you always intended, if you've done what you planned, if you've completed whatever brought you to that point?

Obviously most of us never get there, wherever it is that our individual theres might be. Life interferes, it laughs abundantly in our confused faces and pulls us off the tracks, setting us down on some other track that we never even realized existed until that precise moment, one that had remained hidden until life illuminated it, usually under a blinding spotlight.

The new destination, often unknown at least initially. We usually need time to process the track left abandoned, the one that we'll likely never see or travel again. We need time to mourn, and often we need time to even realize that something worth mourning is gone.

For me, that track, the one that went one way while I went another, it remained in sight but just out of reach for a very long time. Lord knows that I tried all I could for far too long to get back there. Well over a decade of misplaced efforts reaching for a life I'd never live, of wishing for something that would never be.

How much time I wasted chasing this imagined life of someone I wasn't anymore.

Since the first major time there was altered irreversibly in my life, there have been others. Many others.

Some of them were relatively minor alterations to the course of my life, while others were entire re-writes that began with a sudden ceremonial burning of the book I thought I was writing, both literally and figuratively.

I wasn't supposed to be a writer.

This thing that defines me more than almost anything else, something I never imagined someday being.

Some of the paths in my life were revealed to be deceptions, falsehoods, places I thought I was going but never was, not really anyway.

These experiences changed me more than any other in some aspects, solidified who I truly always was in others. Maybe they just revealed the truth.

This version of me on this journey now to wherever it is that I'm going is a hell of a lot different than any prior version.

I've set and achieved goals in my life, sure, but never felt like I was there, mostly because I'm not even sure where there might be anymore.

Just one of the many lessons I have learned, thanks in large part to all my derailments.

I wonder though, are there people who get there someday? Then what?

I'd imagine that it's only ever even possible if a person was to attain the pinnacle of their chosen field or accomplished something of great significance. And then what - where does one go from there?

The answer surely can't be a book deal and lifetime of speaking engagements, can it?

Or perhaps there has nothing to do with measurable success, at least not for most people. Perhaps there is simpler, smaller, more attainable.

Perhaps there isn't a destination at all.

Perhaps there is here.

2 comments:

  1. Kelly, this reminded me of my grandniece, a very gifted young musician with a creative writing degree. Her mother has been bugging her to go to law school, and several years ago at a family gathering she dragged her over to me in the hopes that I could convince her to become a lawyer. Bad move, Mom. I asked the young woman if writing was what she most loved to do and when she said yes, I told to write - write all day, everyday, as often as she could. When her mother interjected that "Writers don't make any money," I simply said, "Neither do lawyers." The only thing worth doing in life is whatever it is that you love the most. How do I know that? Simple. I didn't follow my own advice, and, oh, how I wish I had.

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  2. I love your conclusion! I tend not to think in terms of there...anymore, sticking to the now/here! I chased some there for awhile and it always changed or needed to change.

    Who and How I am today isn't exactly what or where I'd thought I'd be before, but it's actually MUCH better, happier, healthier (mind, body, spirit), and I Love it! :)

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