Monday, 08 December 2008

Life is a journey and not a destination

Life is a journey at times sweet and pleasant at other times bitter and hard. We are all on this journey, forever changing, forever growing forever dying. During the course of this journey there are many destinations. But each is merely a short stop signifying a new beginning.

As we travel along the journey of life we see many destinations ahead. We think in terms of destinations, of arriving at the desired stop. "When I turn 18 "; "When I get married"; "When I graduate"; "When I retire". But as we travel we discover that these are not destinations at all. They are merely events, stations where we can change the direction.

The journey begins on our arrival from the womb - perhaps earlier. This is our first destination, and the start of the journey through babyhood. We are curious and helpless, overwhelmed by the newness of it all. Gradually we grow stronger and more familiar with the people around us. We begin to crawl, utter our first words, and take our first tentative steps.

The next destination on our journey through life is toddlerhood. We have acquired more tools to use in our exploration. Life is still a journey of discovery. Knowledge and language are awakened. We continue through to the next destination of childhood. Now we begin to learn our place as social beings. Friends become important. The journey still focuses on learning through play and through school.

There is a thin line that signifies the next destination. The teenage years are the beginning of a period of self discovery, of defining out unique identity. During this part of the journey our peers and the outside world assume a much greater importance. We need to be cool - accepted and admired by our social groups. We experience the pressures of the wider society. We break away, rejecting our childhood naivety. We become risk takers, experimenting with life. This is the part of the journey where sexual awareness has begun. The next few years are dominated by the search for partners.

The journey continues to the next destination of adulthood. With school days over we enter the world of business and work. Suddenly we are able to earn our own money, make our own decisions. Perhaps we meet a life partner. We marry and live happily ever after.

The fairy tales make this part of the journey seem like the destination of life. Young people dream of marriage which will tell them that they have arrived. But arriving at this station is another turning point in our journey through life. We are now in a partnership and much is till to follow. We have become a family. This is the next destination and a start of a whole new adventure. As our babies grow and develop our journey through life continues.

We experience success and failure, joy and heartbreak. The journey never stops, not even for a moment. In the blink of an eye our children are beginning to strike out, forming their own relationships and having their own children. Suddenly we are grandparents. Yet still we do not feel old!. Now the newlyweds look like children! How can they be ready to take on this journey alone?

Gradually we get older. We approach the final destination of life, the destination from which no-one returns.

Life is a journey taking us on a rocky ride. The destinations are merely new beginnings, a new phase of the journey. There will be highs and lows, happiness and grief. But as long as we live, the journey carries on.

"Life is a journey; enjoy the ride;

be kind along the way." -Lori Carangelo

No comments: