“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”
I’ve seen this quote so many times and always thought of it as a lame motivational cliché.
But as I’ve become older, I realize that there are some teeth to it. For what is life but hundreds and thousands of tiny journeys? Every time we awake from the respite of night we begin a new day trip. When we open our eyes, they may alight on something we’ve not noticed before. The angle of the sun on the wall, something in a picture that eluded us before, a dusty cobweb we need to knock down, a new grey hair on the dog.
Each day brings new conversations, new realizations, new decisions, new sounds, visuals, and smells.
Each day brings a sense of well-being or a new pain, and a hope that the well-being lasts or the damned pain goes away. Our bodies can be relied upon to contribute new sensations with which to deal as we commence our journey.
Maybe someone, on this day, will say something funny, something that pisses us off, something that uplifts, something that educates, something that makes us feel loved, or something that makes us feel small.
Every day brings a new challenge or the same challenges, but more likely a combination of both. We feel anticipation, boredom, energy, lethargy, and a hundred other things. We are grateful, resentful, empathetic, indifferent, creative, pensive, articulate, amusing, and at a loss for words.
We climb into an ethereal bus with passengers who will take this day trip with us, taking in sights as we ride. We deal with whomever we sit next to that day, and our seatmates constantly change. We make stops along the way. Some get off and catch another ride. Sometimes we get to pick the places we’d like to visit; sometimes a fellow traveler gets to choose. Sometimes the place we stop on that day is a horrible, painful place. Sometimes it is a place we go back to many times because it brought us joy.
The point is, I kind of understand that cliché now, because the destinations for each of us change all the time. They change every day. A goal comes and goes … is either realized or abandoned. A resolution is kept, or tossed out the window. A dream materializes or evaporates in the dust. The myriad of possibilities are different for everyone, consisting of infinite variations.
Yet the ultimate destination is the same for us all.
So it occurred to me that the most important part of any journey is not “when are we gonna get there?” but what will unfold on this one day? There is no hurry. Will any of the souvenirs we accumulated on one trip be packed to go on the next? Will we downsize and make room for new stuff?
Each journey we take informs our spirit and becomes part of our DNA. Each one is an adventure.
I wish you all a great trip. Take pictures.