“Some of the most scenic roads in life are the detours you didn’t mean to take.”
-Angela N Blount
They say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
That is how we embark on those truly transformative paths that change us to make us who we are.
Of all the roads that we take in our lifetime, there are many that seldom appear to be as promising and magical as we eventually find them to be. In the beginning, we are riddled with doubts and plagued with worries, never quite sure of the choices that we are about to make. But, I guess, each one of us goes with a gut feeling and that sometimes the gut feeling is the only measure of how we react to the open untrodden path that lies in waiting for us.
We step into it and decide to go on a journey that has hitherto not been taken.
Along the way, there are a plethora of experiences and emotions that come to be a part of the journey, as much as the people we meet, the turns we take and the crossroads that throw us into a tizzy every now and then.
The turn of the road brings every known and unknown emotion to the fore, as we grapple with the demons, beat the odds, savour the landscapes and absorb the moment in all its uniqueness. Our life is enriched by what we find along the way and everything, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem at the moment, have the power to transform us from the inside out.
What we take from the journey is what actually makes us the individual that we are—it’s how we learn, unlearn, change, adapt and grow that help us evolve into the unique beings that we have become as a result of the multitudes of interactions that we’ve had, during this time.
In the end, of course, thanks to every little experience we’ve encountered, we are no longer the same individual that we were before we had set off.
In order to grow, we each need to find the path of our own choosing. There are many roads and many journeys in our lifetime. But, it turns out that only a few have the power and the magic to truly transform us. Often, we may never know that, except in hindsight, whether we chose wisely or otherwise.
As an intrepid traveller, I have learnt to appreciate every single journey that I’ve taken thus far. Over time, I’ve learnt to “see” them in perspective and that has certainly changed my approach to how I view them now. Irrespective of whether they brought me joy or suffering, in both cases, they have taught me more about life than any academic degree or book would ever have.
The roads continue to beckon me, as they always did, years ago. Only now, I know, the world and our lives have changed in an unprecedented way, like never before.
Being home-bound for the last 15 months, caught in a quagmire brought in by a pandemic that rages on relentlessly, I find myself, focused on keeping busy with the other journey that continues inwards, the one that happens silently, as we go about our lives, trying to keep ourselves from drowning, despite the turmoils, the fears, the tears, the losses, the pain and the heartbreaks, that continue unabated.
I’d love to think, that as we do so, we’re all getting there, in slower but surer steps, emerging into stronger and more resilient beings.
Written as part of our #SoulfulSunday freewriting exercise—along with Vinitha, Shilpa and Anamika.