I do not remember where I got this from, but it’s called The Journey from what I can tell. Isn’t it beautiful? I do remember that I was contemplating my own journey when I looked for something representative on the internet. Thank you to the creator of this graphic, it is most beautiful.
I had something else completely in mind today when I made my FB I Love You post, but a conversation of sorts with an old friend caused me to reflect on my journey and on yours. I realize that we gain wisdom and knowledge through age and experience, but it’s such a shame that we must wait so long to realize the value in so many things.
From a young age, I did not want to one day become old and have regret. At the time, my fear of regret was about life experiences such as travel, seeing the wonders of the world, doing other things that I felt passionately about doing, stuff like that. I never wanted a family, never even wanted to marry until I dated Shaun, and so the fear of regret was about experiencing the world fully. Chalk that up to the shortsightedness of a young person.
When we did become a family, I still didn’t get it. I thought we had the rest of our lives together, although in my mind’s eye I had no idea what that looked like. Without drawing out this prelude to the real message, I let fear and every day life get in the way of my real journey. Fear of not getting this done, or that done, or I need to do this, and if Erin doesn’t do that then X, Y, Z. Fear of not getting my Me time. In case you haven’t gotten it by now, when we begin to stress over things, the root cause if fear of…fill in the blank. Someone will be mad, you will be less than, it won’t get done, blah blah blah. Most of the things I stressed over, just don’t matter. I was caught in a viscous circle and never got out. I allowed myself to be caught in it, though, if the truth be known. I got caught up in what I thought I was supposed to do, blah blah. Yeah, I say blah blah a lot. It sort of sums up how unimportant much of this shit is.
We are a culture of fearful people on this planet. Not just the American culture – most of them. We fear lives of joy and abundance because we are very caught up in getting things, and keeping them, and getting people and keeping them. We value fame and fortune instead of love and kindness. We allow others to be treated horrendously as long as we aren’t on the receiving end. We always want more, more, more of the wrong things. What sort of journey is that? It really doesn’t sound very great to me.
Brings to mind an old Jackson Browne song I heard the other day. I was driving down the road and heard the first few verses and it hit me like a brick. Here are the lyrics – all of them – because it tells a story. The bold is my emphasis on what I feel is the most important part…
BoulevardDown on the boulevard they take it hard
They look at life with such disregard
They say it can’t be won
The way the game is run
But if you choose to stay
You end up playing anyway
The kid’s in shock up and down the block
The folks are home playing beat the clock
Down at the golden cup
They set the young ones up
Under the neon light
Selling day for night
Nobody rides for free
Nobody gets it like they want it to be
Nobody hands you any guarantee
The hearts are hard and the times are tough
Down on the boulevard the night’s enough
And time passes slow
Between the store front shadows and the street lights glow
Everybody walks right by like they’re safe or something
They don’t know…
Nobody knows you
Nobody owes you nothin
Nobody shows you what they’re thinking
Hey, hey, baby
You got to watch the street, keep your feet
And be on guard
Make it pay baby
It’s only time on the boulevard