That Old Road

orange sky, yellow sun setting with phone lines in the foreground
An old photo I took years ago on a point and shoot

The road we travel on
Is old indeed
Some parts are straight
Others meander for miles
Some parts are smooth and new
Others are rough with cracks

The road we travel on
Is old indeed
Some parts are desserts
Others are in hearts of forests
Some parts are traveled through summer
Others are traveled through winter

The road we travel on
Is old indeed
Some parts are full of stops
Others are empty lands
Some parts are distractions
Others are exits to new lands

The road we travel on
Is old indeed
We start out young
And grow old on this road
We may not always like the journey
But we all must travel on that old road

Friday Thoughts: The Journey

It is once more that time of year. The part of the year where social media feeds are filled with one of three things: engagement announcements, baby announcements, university enrollment announcements.

And of course, each post has likes, hearts, and comments posting love and best wishes. We join in and comment.

Some of us see the news with a great smile. Others may see these announcements as painful reminders. We’re not where we want to be or with who we want to be.

But that’s okay.

We just need a little patience. In May 2016 I graduated from college. I had hopes that I would have a job after a month. Half a year later and I may have my one love in my life. A year after that I would be making a sizable dent in my school debt. That was my hope.

A year later I was still jobless, no love interest, and had not even started on paying back my loans.

It was only in April that I finally landed a job. Life is still not going the way I would like it to go but that is okay. But I remember something a Baby Boomer told me: Everyone has to pay their dues.

What does that mean?

It means each and everyone else has to go through a trial. It doesn’t matter who we are or what we applied for, we have paths we must travel. Whether we are the reporter stuck with boring stories or the medical student going through residency. The art student working as a graphic designer or the writer being denied. We must bear our burden and walk this path.

Tolkien did not sit down one day and write a generation-spanning novel. Einstien did not solve the mysteries of the math world overnight. We may see it as an instant success but it is not.

True greatness comes not from glory but from hard work.

As much as I wish that I could just skip the pain and reach the perfect happy place, this trial of fire can be beneficial.

We gain a better appreciation for our job, empathy for what others are going through, and perspective on our own circumstances.

And as tempting as it is to take a short cut it is not worth it. You will always be found out. No matter how long it takes, the truth will come out. The longer it takes to find out, the greater the fall will be.

So be patient. Be diligent. Learn what you can at each stage.

The Light In The Dark

Day in
Day out
Reports come
Of evil deeds being done
Child used as sex toys
Adults beaten to death
Teens committing suicide

Day in
Day out
Reports are told
Of nations preparing for war
Of genocides being committed
Of wars being waged

Yet in all of that
There is light
Of a man who stopped a jumper
Of women saving children
Of people intervening

The world is a dark place
And the news is not good
But there is hope and there is light
And if you cannot find the light
Then act for the light

One More

gold sunset with a dark blue dusk

One More
We say it all the time
One more smoke
One more lie
One more drink
One more time
One more and I’m done

Just one more
We never really mean it though
Always one more pill
Always one more party
Always one more race
Always one more gamble
But one more could be the end

One more
One more and your life could change
One more drink could be a hit and run
One more pill could be an overdose
One more time stealing money
One more click could be the end of a relationship
One more and lives can change

One more
Just two words
But oh can they can change your life
As this day comes to an end
Say no more

Friday Thoughts: Focus

While on my morning commute I walked past a Jeep with a license plate brace that said “Keep On Target”. My first thought was of Star Wars and the attack on the first Death Star. It made me smile as the movie started playing out in my head. However, my second thought was “you drive where you are looking at”.

Now this thought gave me a pause.

My mother and father have both told me this when I first began to drive. My driver’s ed teacher and instructor both told me the same thing. Wherever you look on the road, that is where you are going to drive.

This same logic can be applied to life. If you look towards success, that is where you are going to drive towards. The same with interests. If you like sports and you look at sports, that is where go to. Poetry, art, engineering, or chemistry. If you focus your attention there, your mind and body will head towards that direction.

By the same token, you can drive yourself towards some bad things. Hatred. Lust. Envy. Self-pity. If you keep “looking” at those kinds of things, that is where you will end up.

Recently I have been thinking about all the mistakes I have made and people I let down over my life. Of promises broken and disappointing choices. Of people I hurt. But where is my focus? In the past. And the only thing that happens when you drive towards the past is looping in a circle. You cannot go forward when you are driving in a circle.

Letting go of the past is not easy. Some of my memories still carry weight and power. The sting of regret or that pang of hurt is still fresh. I am slowly learning to let them go. To remember the lesson but not letting that moment hold me. In some cases you may have to forgive someone. Not necessarily telling them but letting go of that hurt. In some cases you may have to ask for forgiveness. No matter how awkward or painful that admission will be.

And in some cases, you will have to forgive yourself.

Driving forward is not forgetting your past. It is not avoiding the consequences of your past. It is not letting yourself stay in the past.

The Restless Heart

For a time this heart will be still
Content with the way things are
To see the days pass by
Much the same as before
To smile and enjoy
The known paths of life
But a day will come
When the old paths seem dull
And the day lingers without pleasure
Ever more the heart will turn
To the east and the west
Searching for something else
To the north and south
Wondering what lies ahead
Thus the heart will grow weary
With the paths of old
Unhappy with its own content
Then the heart will search out
Paths it has not tread
To forge where no one else has
Thus the world becomes known
And science mastered
And history is made
By the restless heart