It will be a busy start to the year with trips to Dallas and Houston, Phoenix and Tampa, New Orleans and New York City. Most for business, one for fun and family. Plus a few more maybe trips and locations, and all within the first 6 months.
What will all that running accomplish? What I’m striving for these trips is connections: more, stronger, and better.
Gift from a Stranger
Marcus and I recently came home from a combo trip, work and fun. The work portion combined both print-work and advocacy-work. We came out with new friends, inspiration, motivation, a long but hopeful to-do list, heavy assignments, and high expectations.
Also, on this trip, Marcus and I were the recipients of a random act of kindness. A stranger paid our food and drink tab at the airport bar. I have no idea, even an inkling. Just a kind gesture from the universe. I retraced all our steps up to the bar and our conversations when we sat down. We were sitting at an “outward facing” section of the restaurant, instead of facing into the bar, making us both more visible while also less socially reachable.
Travel is Tricky
Going places is hard sometimes, and exhausting. Marcus and I each have some challenges that make airport travel particularly stressful. I ran over some of those moments in my mind, did the stranger see us coping in the ways we’ve learned over our many trips? Did he/she overhear us talking about what “medium-well” means? Did he/she see Marcus point out the sweet baby walking by and we both make soft faces at her, though she surely couldn’t see us? We saw a couple argue with each other as they passed, we had a conversation about that, too. Or was it simply a feeling of community, hope, empathy, or even in tribute that we were the lucky recipients in his/her path…Who knows?
Ah well, it was a nice surprise in our travel day.
Traveling isn’t always fun but being where we need to go is worth the struggle. Often while we’re travelling, I consider that I’m pushing Marcus (and maybe me, too) too hard; it’s too much. And yet, I can’t think of a trip I regret taking. I’ve definitely made decisions that I’d change given a rewrite, so I’ve used those experiences to adjust. I choose better the times and the time I allot. Each trip we’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) but we roll it together and move forward.
The Question is: Where Are You Going?
In reflecting on the question, I recalled the many times I sang two particular songs to my younger brothers, while each was a babe in my arms. Songs that I know from deep in my heart.
The first is called “By My Side,” Although it feels like it should be called, “Where are you going?”
I love this song. Lyrically, it makes no sense (to me), but the voices and melody are both compelling and melancholy. It was my go-to lullaby and one of my all-time favorite songs to sing along.
Then I remembered another old song I sang often: “Theme to Mahogany” with the subtitle: “Do You Know Where You’re Going To?”
The lyrics go:
Do you know where you’re going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you? Where are you going to? Do you know?
Do you get what your hoping for? When you look behind you there’s no open door. What are you hoping for? Do you know?
It’s one of those songs that the second I found it on Youtube, it was all still with me, every word and note.
Finding My Way
These songs were both part of my teenage soundtrack. There’s a lot of “Where are you going?” in a teenage mind. (Another song from HAIR just reminisced into the mix, too.) I find that reliving these songs and the emotional connection they revive in me is a sum of the “Where are you going?” struggle. Is self-analysis always in a minor key?
Here in my “grown-up” years, I’m still looking for the answers. I, like many others attempting to “adult” often find myself moving, but not always feeling like its forward. So much of life is a lateral pass, ya know?
The interwebs say:
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers.
I live a lot like that…just keep going.
Even though I’m a planner, a strategizer, a goal maker – In the big big picture, I often wonder, where are we actually reaching?
Sometimes I think Marcus would be happy enough just living out every day as a “Snow day.” Boy, does he love snow days! But then, don’t we all think that sometimes? We think we should hole up and binge watch TV and drink huge cups of hot cocoa for the rest of our lives…
But, for real, we don’t want that because we want to grow. And to grow you have to experience life, refuel with inspiration, learn some things the hard way, and to connect, in the many forms connecting takes.
So, what is the metaphorical answer to Where are you Going? Sigh. I don’t know. I do know: we’ll keep going as long as we can.
This started as a Finish The Sentence Friday with the photo supplied by my talented brother Tim and the question, “Where are you going?” Easy enough, right? Today I am re-sharing it in the #LoveBlog2020 prompt Travel.
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Before I forget, WOW, that Where Are You Going song… I’ve never (!) heard it. I Shazammed it from this and bought it. It’s transformative. Funny how much music makes us feel and wonder where we’re going. Last night, when I was thinking about this prompt, I was listening to a song called Memorized that was made for the series This Is Us. The beginning made me feel huge things but it becomes obvious that it was made to be a snippet in a show because the last however long is just the chorus or whatever repeating, which gets annoying.
Anyway! You and your family are amazing with all of the goings and travelings, and all of it. I’m so grateful that now and again, we’re able to cross paths. You make the world better. I mean it. xoxo
I’m glad you got to share it- it is so gorgeous!
You are amazing and I’m glad we get to share this corner of the internet.
I don’t know either, but I am fully on board with Marcus about snow days. In Maryland, this has been the most disappointing snow year, so here’s hoping for February!
OH I’ll bet the snow days are still coming, don’t you worry. 🙂
We all need a good snow day every once in awhile! Or even the occasional snow week, like when we got iced in two different occasions in NJ when I was a kid. That was.. interesting.
We really need it all!
And I love that someone paid your bill! I love to do that for people but there’s not a lot of rhyme or reason as to who I choose. I have a lot of Friendly’s gift cards so I always pay for someone else. Last time I went I choose a gentleman sitting alone. He was older and alone, but that’s not what I chose him. I chose him because he was so quiet and patient with all the loud toddlers running around him, and he had a cool sweater on.
Yes! Although *I* put alot of thought into *why* Marcus and I were beneficiaries, I too have chosen to give randomly before. Once because the mom looked tired while still smiling and patiently listening to her children, it made me smile, too. As simple as that. So, who knows?!
I love the second song – playing it now as I read your post. I tend to always focus on where I’m going, but as I’ve gotten older I try to remind myself to enjoy the journey too. Sounds trite, but it’s true. And if you meet generous strangers and have snow days along the way, even better.
It’s lovely, isn’t it? I know you’re a music and lyric gal, too. I’m glad you listened while reading aling, I always hope people will do that. 🙂
This post is so thought provoking. You’re totally right. On the surface we would all love to live our lives completely in snow-days nut it would get really old after a while because we really want to grown and explore. Also, I love that story about the airport. Good for that stranger for purchasing your food out of the goodness of his or her heart!
Isn’t it funny how certain songs take you back to certain moments from your past or periods of your life? I have a few of those from my travel adventures, and it’s the kind of thing that immediately lands me back in that moment.
“Where are you going?” feels like such a huge question! I’m still figuring it out. 😉