Once upon a time I reached my goal of moving to Texas and starting a new life. About a month after I moved here and began to settle into my new apartment and my new life I can remember a conversation with my friend Carol. I had one question, “Now what?”. My move to Texas had required some major life changes, finishing college, moving out on my own, going through a divorce and moving from Ohio to Texas. I sat in the middle of my living room, and felt a bit sad and depressed.
“Life is a journey, not a destination.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Yes, I’d heard that a million times in my lifetime. It makes perfect sense, and it looks good as a refrigerator magnet but I was struggling. Carol suggested maybe I needed to focus on a part of my life that I felt was missing, the romantic piece. That sounded reasonable to me and I started on a journey of dating that was a path full of all sorts of twists and turns, funny stories, adventures and in the end danger. Screeeeech, time to put the brakes on at that point, the paths I found myself on just didn’t fit the journey that I was on.
I jumped deeper into charity work knitting hats and such, sending packages to soldiers, doing more with my Hospice groups. It was fulfilling, but I began to feel like I was just marking time on my life path. I found myself trying to find ways to fill the empty spaces. Shopping, there are so many places to shop in my new corner of the world became a big past time…but really not all that satisfying beyond that initial rush.
Friday night when I was out on the dance floor arm in arm with friends dancing to Cotton Eyed Joe I found myself amazed at the directions life has taken me in the past 6 months. It all started with deciding to join Meetup.com, or maybe it really started with my decision to change my life and to try new things. I’ve met some great people by participating in local charity events. I shape my weekend schedule around making sandwiches for the Soupmobile twice a month.
…and then there’s the dancing thing….
It’s not easy to venture outside of one’s comfort zone. It’s really easy to slip back into what we know, feeling safe and protected. It can be very challenging to push into places you’ve not gone before. I really used to think of myself as a wallflower. Now I walk up to strangers and offer hugs. I see people sitting alone at a dance venue, and I introduce myself and invite them to join our table. People are introducing me to others, and suggesting that people join my Meetup group, it makes me chuckle. WHO IS THIS PERSON?
I kinda like her, I think I’m going to let her stay….
She’s still trying new paths, discovering new things, and at times a bit scared of venturing out to the edge of the cliff ready to take off and spread her wings.
But she’s trying, and not sitting on the sidelines watching the parade pass her by. In her head at least she is turning cartwheels and tossing confetti and huggin’ the stuffing out of her life.
“All of life is a journey which paths we take, what we look back on, and what we look forward to is up to us. We determine our destination, what kind of road we will take to get there, and how happy we are when we get there.”