Friday, 1 July 2011

Life is a Journey

An overused metaphor no doubt, but one that's overused because it's so true. Life is a journey. You look forward to the experiences, make plans and goals, organize with other people. Sometimes you get the trip you were planning for but most of the time things happen you didn't expect. Maybe you were going to Vancouver and your luggage took an extended vacation in Gander. Maybe you had your heart set on a cruise only to have a hurricane foil your plans. You rearrange your plans and go on.

You've made a plan to drive to Disney World with your child. The car is packed with your clothes, snacks, passports, and ID. You've got hotel reservations and plenty of maps. Camera has several memory cards ready and waiting and plenty of fresh batteries. You are ready and looking forward to your journey and destination.

Driving through farm country, child's been quiet all morning. Then you hear it, a quiet cough and the words "I fink I'm going to frow up". Pull onto the side of the road, pull child out of the car seat and car and hurry to the edge of the field until said child is done. As you're cleaning off child's face you hear your car pull away. All your ID's inside, even your cellphone is tucked away under the stereo. All you have is you, a crying small child, and a wad of dirty kleenexes.

Was this the journey you planned? No way! Now you're stuck in some place you've never heard of (too small to even get on your maps). You're going to meet people who are genuinely helpful and you're going to meet people who look at you with disdain because they would *never* be in your situation. They'd always have their ID on them. They'd have taken the time (with a retching child no less) to turn off the car, take out the keys, and lock the doors behind them. And you bite your tongue knowing you have realized how unrealistic *never* is. Knowing that someday their *never* will happen to them too.

And then, it's up to you. Do you know what's going to happen next? Will you find your car? Will it even work? Will you get to Disney World? All of that is currently out of your hands. You can either look at this as the worst trip of your life or you can look at it as an exciting new experience. Sure it's one you'd never have deliberately chosen but exciting none the less. You'll meet new people. You'll see places you'd have never visited. Maybe you'll make new friendships that will last for the rest of your life. You'd have never met them otherwise... and they wouldn't have become friends if you grumbled the whole time about how horrible it was to be stuck in the place they chose to live. Your journey has changed and it's up to you to make the best of it.

And that is life.

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