When is the last time you can remember going on a long road trip, and actually spending a majority of your time looking out the car window to simply appreciating the beauty that surrounded you?….It’s probably been a while hasn’t it. Instead you probably impatiently distracted yourself until you arrived to the pinpoint on your google maps.
When you were a kid the only two questions you repetitively asked on a road trip were, “can we stop, I gotta pee” and “how much longer until we get there”; well these questions seldom do change in our lives as we continue to ask about the length between now, and our destination (I hope you still don’t have to ask to pee..).
I’ve been guilty of this on multiple occasions in my adult life, for instance, last winter break we took a family trip to Lake Tahoe. I literally spent 4 or so hours on my phone, fully ignoring the majestic scenery of the Sierra Nevada mountain’s.
As cliché as it may sound, each of our lives is a series of journey’s that spawns from the most important journey of all; the journey of self-discovery, growth, and connection. This also happens to be the most ignored part of our journey, which is life itself. (I know, that’s a lot of journey’s).
When we put our focuses on where we want to be, or where others already are, we become depressed about the lack of “progress within our own lives”. We seldom do realize that at this very moment we are experiencing a potentially life altering moment, key word being potential, which can very easily become another bland “thing” that happened if we do not give it our full attention.
It will always seem as if the next location will be better than where we are at the moment, but once we actually arrive at our destination we are often met by a cold reality; this reality being the fact that the arrival point is no more significant than the path that lead to it. The only time the former statement may be invalid is when it comes to using GPS to get to La Vic’s, in this case the destination is so much better than the drive there.
When we continuously place our hopes into tomorrow being a better day than today, all we’re doing in reality is setting ourselves up for a sure-fire disappointment.
This sort of farsightedness is due to the fact that we are fixated on getting “there” as opposed to putting our focuses on the most important aspects of our travels which include the bonds we create with those we come into contact with, and the person we become through the entire process.
It does not surprise me, however, that as a culture we are so destination oriented; I mean just take a look at the values that we have created for ourselves as a society.
Media outlets often showcase the “success stories” of this world, including celebrities, CEOs, and athletes who they market as “overnight successes”; YET seldom do they show the journey’s that these people embark on to be where they are today. The media will not show us Oprah Winfrey’s poverty-stricken childhood, Marshall Mather’s abusive adolescence, or Danny DeVito’s 100 rejects before he was even considered for a role; all they chose to highlight is the result and the “reward”.
This deceiving perspective of result without growth is often times the cause of our everyday frustration’s as we feel that we aren’t good enough, and may never be since we’re in the position we feel we need to be.
My Meyer Story : I remember when I first saw the pretty boy nerd John Meyer manipulate the strings of his guitar as if he were a 5th degree wizard; I saw thousands of women in the crowd screaming his name, and at that moment I felt a calling. I figured that it would be as effortless as Meyer made it out to be, so I took the leap of faith. After a few months of talking myself out of it I finally ended up purchased a cheap acoustic guitar from a local music store, and from that moment on I began to mentally prepared myself for indie rock stardom. What resulted from my first attempt sounded more like a terrible impression of a bad guitarist than the pied piper of all teenage girls ( relax I was 12 at the time) . At that very moment I gave up all aspirations of Meyer-ism, and decided that the guitar just wasn’t made for me; I came to the conclusion that John had been born with something that only he had… dream dead, journey over.
After removing the lenses of my youthful ignorance what I now saw was how I lacked an understanding of John Meyer’s creative hiatus. If I had been exposed to the reality that John spent a grueling amount of time on perfecting his craft, then I would have had enough insight to understand that it was never going to be an overnight process.
John’s love for the guitar was what motivated him to continuously improve, and his passion for music propelled him to persevere through those times in which he may have sounded more like myself. John was in it for the raw essence of the music; whereas I was only in it for the known benefits (bras on stage), and end results (bras on stage). In reality what I saw as the end all be all was nothing compared to the satisfaction that Meyer claimed to feel from simply creating music.
Your Story: If you are a human being reading this, if not I’m very impressed, then you too must know that you are on a journey which is just as invigorating as any of your favorite pop stars. Sure your journey might not be one that is centered on becoming somebody under the worlds spotlight. Regardless of where your road may lead, just remember that it too is filled with life enhancing experiences waiting to be activated by your attention.
The only reason it would not feel as if your journey is as important as the next person is due to your fixated on how good everybody else’s life seems compared to yours, (LIES!!), and the mirage that is Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat does not help the validity of how amazing your personal adventure is.
Even through the toughest of times there are lessons to be learned, and new perspectives of yourself to be gained once you are ready to accept them.
The key to un-shackle these self realizations is by embracing your personal growth. Once you begin to view life as a series of opportunities to experience, and not something to reach for, then you can truly be free from the frustration’s of wanting to get “there”. When you start to grasp each moment as it comes, then and only then will you begin to realize that the only thing that truly exists is what’s happening right now. Contentment is the result of being ok with where you are.
So whether it be investing your energy into a relationship by taking the time to truly innerstand your significant others needs, or if you are on a personal pursuit of passion; just remember to view every single step as being just as important as the last, and once that sinks in you will realize that you have alway’s been “there”.
– Tinashe Hwande