Does life have a destination ? I named my blog “sometimes it is about the destination” mostly because I wanted it to sound different. For anyone who has ever read a self-help book you’ll recognize the cliché that life is a “journey”. We’re told to find our path in life and enjoy the trip. That’s good advice and all, but doesn’t a journey ultimately have a destination ? If not, isn’t that just called wandering .
I’ve wandered for most of my 51 years of existence. Ok, I guess you really can’t count the first 18 years of childhood in that total, after all a child’s job is pretty much to wander and have fun. So for 33 years as an adult I wandered. There were short-lived times when I had a destination in mind and thought I knew what I wanted in life. I was certain that if I found someone to love me and had a job I loved that life would perfect. There are of course many flaws with that plan. The biggest being that happiness does not come from “having ” anything. Whether that having something is a; relationship, career, money, house or whatever, true happiness can only come from within (but I’m sure you wise readers already knew that).
During those 33 years I wandered through multiple marriages and several jobs. I won’t go into the many reasons that the marriages/ relationships were destined to fail but suffice it to say that they were with people I had no business being with in the first place. As for the various jobs I had, well they all ended basically the same reason the relationships did. Back in 1983 when I started my first job as a bagger at Buy n’ Save ( a grocery store that belonged to Smiths ) the store manager Louie gave me some advice that I wish I would have heeded. He told me ” Don’t stay in the grocery business ! It will be easy to start making more and more money and then you will be trapped ! ” . Essentially he was trying to tell me that I shouldnt work just for money and that I shouldnt settle for less than what I really wanted. As with people, I sought out jobs not because I had passion for them but because I was desperate for what they would give me…. love and money ( obviously love from relationships and money from jobs.. not once did I have a relationship that gave me money !).
Wandering through life I never pursued something for the sake of passion. I never thought I deserved to have what I wanted. The voices in my head told me I wasn’t smart enough, good enough or enough period. For years I asked myself the question “What is wrong with me ?! Why can’t I be XXX (whatever it is I truly desired) ?!” I was certain that I needed to be different. Because of this flawed thinking I kept repeating the same vicious cycle of self-destructive behavior. That cycle was the same with people and with jobs. It would start out ok but end badly. It was because of this destructive behavior and these thoughts that I struggled with depression and ultimately with substance addiction.
My life is different now. Over the past 14 months my life has dramatically changed. Where I once viewed my life as a series of failures and mistakes , I’ve come to see it as a learning experience. Now, instead of believing I need to be a different person , I realize that I just need to see things from a different perspective. For once in my life I feel as if I’m moving forward instead of round and round on a path to nowhere. Best of all I’ve learned that I don’t have to settle . I can choose passion over desperation.
Yes, life is a journey. I’ve begun a journey with a woman I love with all my heart. I’m on a journey of learning more about myself and how to deal with struggles in a productive manner. However, this journey has a destination. Self acceptance. The day I accept myself and accept all of my wacky past I know I will have arrived.