“I don’t know where I’m going…but I sure know where I’ve been…” How many of you can instantly hear the tune to this late 80’s hit, “Here I Go Again”, by Whitesnake, as soon as you hear the opening line? I’m sure I’m not the only one who used to belt out this song sporting some very big hair and a wrist full of neon jelly bracelets.
This Spring Break, I knew exactly where I was going, AND where I’d been. It was back to another rock for me. My usual routine to escape the still cold and dreary days of my home in the North, took my ‘summer girl at heart’ back to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. This return trip, following my most recent visit at Christmas.
Why am I always heading South every break I get? Some may say to escape–life, the winter, a challenging profession–and in some ways it may be, but I know the reasons run deeper than that. There is something that makes my soul feel even more alive when I am on an island or in a tropical destination, and I totally feel at ‘home’ when I am. I heard a quote recently that said, “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us” and that one really couldn’t have described it any better from my own personal outlook on my tropical wanderlust.
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.
While I was traveling throughout the US and British Virgin Islands this go around, I realized that so many opportunities seem to come my way when I’m traveling—whether they be new friendships, new experiences, or new business opportunities. What I fully became aware of though, was the plethora of new LIFE experiences, in general, that seem to work their way into my presence when I’m away from the comfort zones of home. I also started to take note that, while so many of these opportunities seem to present themselves, I don’t always act upon them; with a hard realization that these opportunities are not always going to be there if I always pass them by or don’t get brave enough to take a risk and take them on.
Lately, it seems I’ve been traveling towards something, but I don’t fully know what it is. That still, small voice inside just keeps telling me to keep moving forward because something, or someone, is waiting on the other side of all of this travel. It’s hard when you don’t know what that ‘something’ is and people around you want answers to questions you haven’t even come up with yet for your own life. We all want that compass to sail us on the ‘right’ course and to know the end destination on the map, but, the reality is, we can never really know. We can certainly get clear with our dreams and set a plan in motion, but we do have to be prepared, and open, for the detours that may throw us off course temporarily, or onto an entirely new route.
There are things I may be striving for in life and questions I have about where I’m heading with my own personal goals and dreams, but, no matter how hard I try, there’s only so much control I have over those outcomes. Making peace with my own personal being and the incredible life that I lead in between the ‘checkpoints’ I have wanted to manifest in my life, are really the only options I have. Celebrating the simple and non-glamorous moments of my day-to-day life, appreciating the special people who surround me (near and far), taking in the beauty of all life has to offer a healthy and creative woman such as myself (whether on an island or back home), and being grateful for it all in the meantime.
It’s easy to get ‘lost’ when you may not know precisely where you’re going, but if you open your heart and let it lead you, enjoying the journey along the way—you’ll ‘find’ that THAT really IS what life is about. You know, that good ole journey—not the destination. Having hopes and dreams in your heart and setting goals, but trusting the process and how it plays out, knowing that what is for you cannot pass you by, and making peace with the in between moments, are the only ways to keep moving forward in life.
So, for now, I don’t know completely what my future has in store, and I’m okay with that. I just keep heading for the ‘rocks’, because that is where my heart is called. There’s really no benefit to stop and feel sad, sorry, or worried about the things that aren’t the way I wish them to be in this moment. I can acknowledge them, and honor the feelings that do arise without pushing them aside and pretending they don’t exist…“but I’ve made up my mind…I ain’t wastin’ no more time…So, here I go again”…