The Journey

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“The Journey is the reward” I’ve been thinking about that quote ever since I saw it engraved in an overpass in Wichita, KS the other day. I realize that, despite the fact that my life so far has been a wondrous journey, I have to train myself to live by this quote. For some reason, whether it has been taught to me or is ingrained in my personality, I seem to always pursue outside vindication. If I don’t get the award, the accolades, or the recognition than I view my life as a failure. But, if I can change my mindset to view the journey as the reward, then my life would be completely different and every day would be a joy. Even the simple days where nothing really happens can be part of the journey. My time here, on this bizarre adventure to Kansas will simply be part of my life’s journey; part of the untold but rewarding story that is me. Now, the question is how to really make myself focus on that? How do I let go of this need to be recognized and rewarded by external factors? How do I truly learn to embrace the journey?

Maybe I need to remind myself where this journey has taken me so far:

  • I learned my passion for words (reading, writing, and spoken) at an early age, and I still value them.
  • I learned my love for languages at an early age. Since then I have studied Japanese, French, Spanish, Hebrew, and a smattering of other languages. I can learn more, and that will be a reward.
  • I lived on my own in Japan for three years, and I thrived there.
  • I wanted to be a director, and I have been a director. So what if I’m not famous. I’ve been privileged to work on some wonderful productions (as well as some not so wonderful ones) with passionate, creative people . . . that is a reward.
  • I have always been empathetic and that has led me in so many directions as a mentor and a friend. While I may find it difficult to meet new people (I am secretly shy) my true friends are treasures that I value. They are the people who will stay with me for the rest of my life, even if time and distance separate us.
  • I have learned that I can do anything that I set my mind to. My journey has taken so many twists and turns, and I cannot see clearly where it is heading. But, with each challenge I’ve learned new skills, and embraced everything. I may not have loved every task assigned to me, but I do love learning new things, and not being limited to one label. My reward is flexibility, and that is something I will treasure always.
  • I’ve always wanted to write. I have now had a few articles published. I have also written several stories and poems that have yet to find a home. My proudest moment was completing my book for middle grade readers. It may never get published, but those I have shared it with love it. And, I am proud of myself for doing it. I believe the next part of my journey will include another venture into writing, even if I don’t know where it will take me. The words are the reward.
  • I found someone kind and caring, who loves me despite my insecurities and general craziness. Together we have created a wonderful little girl who has the potential to live an incredible journey herself. I hope that she learns to embrace the journey, but I know she won’t if I don’t truly embrace it.

When I look at my life this way, I see that I have lived an incredible one. There have been ups and downs. There has been good and bad. There have been times of boredom and times of excitement.  I’ve faced sadness and I’ve lived joy. My journey is not over –it has truly just begun. That IS my reward.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nathan
    Sep 05, 2010 @ 08:37:16

    I had a thought that being in Kansas and The Wizard of Oz. Following the Yellow Brick road to find yourself. “You had the power to go home all along…” You have the power and the journey was necessary to find that.

    Reply

  2. Lisa
    Sep 05, 2010 @ 17:37:18

    But the question remains, when I click my heels three times where will I end up? Is home within me, somewhere I’ve already been, or somewhere where the journey is yet to take me?

    Reply

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  5. An Embarrassment of Freedom
    Aug 15, 2011 @ 14:42:17

    I’ve been to Europe and across Canada , some parts of the USA but always feel best to back home in our little farming community…at times I feel that I’m missing out by not travelling faraway again…and recently my farm home has gone through a demolition but the land is still owned by my sister and she lives in a new house there…but it feels like home still despite the sadness of losing the landmarks of the buildings….home really is a retreat for me, books, safety, family, good meals, coffee pot but the starting point for some tame adventures like day trips, theatre outings…ah retirement!

    Reply

    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Aug 15, 2011 @ 23:25:35

      Lovely description of home. Retirement? At this rate I’ll never be able to retire and the journey will continue until I drop. 😉

      Reply

  6. An Embarrassment of Freedom
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 09:49:29

    Retirement is the blessing of 31 years teaching at the same elementary school…Kindergarten! It feels weird ssometimes to be free, hence my heading “an embarrassment of freedom”. I’m getting over it! Best wishes on your journey! It seems we were on the website at the same time today so that was nice!

    Reply

  7. Trackback: The Art of Being Lost « Woman Wielding Words

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