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.