a journey

I love beginnings. Travel journal

The more milestones I reach (becoming a parent, graduating, getting married, buying a house..), the more I realize that it’s not about the destination but about the journey. I recently came across this quotation from children’s book author Ursula K. LeGuin:

“It’s good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.”

You could say that this is one of those “adult” lessons learned; to live in the moment and to worry less about “getting there.” To forget the “are we there yet” and to enjoy the process in all its messy, complicated state of incompleteness. To simply be.

This is a lesson I keep learning since I’m someone who’s very goal oriented and loves the neatness of the arrival, the destination, and the checking-things-off. And each time I check off a milestone, I expect to feel a huge sense of satisfaction followed by a gratifying “I’m done.” I thought I’d feel that way after graduating with my PhD most of all. This goal has been a long time coming and one that seemed insurmountable as well as the pinnacle of my academic strivings. Well, it’s come and gone, and although I do feel a sense of accomplishment and relief, that “I’m done” moment never set in. Sights are set on new tasks, new milestones are in the distance, and I feel like I’m yet again on a journey towards new goals. I guess that’s the beauty of life; there’s always something else to desire and the destination is just an illusion. We keep (ideally) growing, striving, yearning, changing, moving, and learning.

At least that’s what I hope to do. And I’m working on growing increasingly comfortable with being in medias res; with enjoying the process and the moment and focusing less on when it’s done, checked off, and put away. Because when I think about it, the best part of being done is getting to start all over again with something else. The best part of endings are really the new beginnings they offer.

And I love beginnings.

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About simplybike

{Bikes, a new baby, and the story of us.}
This entry was posted in Academia, Family, Snapshots of Life, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to a journey

  1. Bryna says:

    Nice post S! For me, having a child has really helped me to ‘live in the moment’ (though I suppose it might make some even more goal oriented given our success driven culture) – but just watching them play and discover and take such joy in it all constantly reminds me how lucky I am to be healthy, to have a house over my head and people around me for love and support.

    • S. says:

      Thanks, Bryna! And I agree – having a child definitely pushes one to live in the “now.” Especially since they’re constantly changing and their needs are always so moment-specific and immediate. It has definitely made me focus more on the journey rather than some point in the future.

      S.

      • Peter says:

        What are you stating, man? I know eveeyonrs got their own view, but really? Listen, your blog is neat. I like the energy you put into it, specifically with the vids and the pics. But, come on. Theres gotta be a better way to say this, a way that doesnt make it seem like most people here is stupid!

  2. Ola says:

    It’s very wise to look for new beginnings in the endings. Sometimes the sense of beginning is very strong, like the birth is the end of pregnancy, but the new person arrives into our lives. Sometimes one has to actually create a new beginning oneself after something has ended, and that’s the whole trick. Good luck on your journey!

  3. Dee says:

    I felt the same way when I finished my PhD. I thought I would feel such a sense of relief and could rest on my laurels for a while. Instead I found myself restless and excited, and already planning for the next journey! Enjoy your trip, and enjoy the time you have with your family and friends abroad!

  4. Julia says:

    Lovely!

    (I’ve always loved that Le Guin quote. It comes from my favorite of her books, The Left Hand of Darkness. Le Guin has actually had an incredibly prolific career as a writer primarily of books for adults. She’s explored a lot of really fascinating stuff, much of it concerning gender and sexuality. She’s worth a look if you’re not familiar with her work beyond Earthsea! Ok, off my fan girl soap box now…)

    • simplybike says:

      Thanks, Julia! I’m not familiar with her work but am now definitely going to look into it! Sounds very interesting and right up my alley in terms of gender interests.

      S.

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