I discovered a hole in my favorite shirt yesterday.
This shirt has traveled with me for a very long time – I’ve had it for at least as long as I’ve been married so that’s thirteen years for sure. It is faded and stretched and just about to cross into the realm of threadbare. It ceased being “good enough” to wear out in public a long time ago. But it’s comfortable and familiar and so I wear it when I need that, faded and threadbare be damned.
But that hole…well, that tells me it’s about time to retire the shirt. I kind of draw the line at holding onto the tattered remnants of what used to be a shirt. Still, sometimes it is difficult to part with the past, even when we know it is time to move on.
My favorite shirt saw me through many a day in the classroom when I was a teacher. I often chose it on days when I felt a bit under the weather, or a bit tired. It was like taking a little bit of my comfy pajamas to school with me. I wore that shirt on non-dates with my now Husband. I wore it many times during my pregnancy with Zilla. I’ve worn it more days than I can count since I left my classroom career behind and ventured forward on this new (and sometimes frightening) version of life on my own terms.
Mourning the imminent loss of my shirt sparked some reflection on all the things that have happened in my life since I first wore it, a wild and wonderful journey comprised of moments happy, sad, scary, and more…
That reflection has me thinking that sitting here in my office, writing away, is precisely where I belong right this moment. OK, maybe that’s a little bit because it’s really cold outside and I’d much rather be in here looking out at the cold than outside feeling the cold. In all seriousness, though, I realize that even if I’m not quite where I ultimately want to be in life, I’m certainly on my way.
Life is a journey, after all, isn’t it? The journey is different for everyone and even different for each individual at different times in life as we experience things that are easy, hard, painful, joyous, or whatever. I’ve always said that no matter what has occurred in the past, the paths that I’ve taken have brought me to where – and to who – I am today, in this moment. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
So I am happy for this leg of the journey, to be right here doing exactly what I am meant to do…for now.
For now, because this is not for ever. I have many more places to go, things to do, and versions of me to become. I try to focus on enjoying and learning from each day, each step of my journey as much as I can. I remind myself that it is important to be fully in each moment because – at least for a moment – that is exactly where I belong.
Ultimately, these steps along the way make up the me I will become later. Some things I will leave behind, others I will carry with me as I move forward. Some will be positive steps, others will be missteps. But I don’t see the obstacles and bumps in the road as baggage – that has such a negative connotation. I prefer to see them as photographs in a scrapbook, snapshots that remind me of the journey I took to reach right now.
For it isn’t only the destination we remember about the trips we take. It’s also the moments along the way…the great restaurant we stop at for lunch, that little hole-in-the-wall joint we think no one else knows about. It’s remembering having to make repeated trips to the local drugstore for things forgotten in packing, or remembering the time someone got sunscreen in their eyes or was crapped on by a seagull… For better or worse, these images remain just as clear.
I can’t worry about where I haven’t been yet or what I haven’t done, just like I can’t possibly predict the people I have yet to meet who will influence me. I can’t worry about what others have accomplished that I might wish for myself or when I might reach certain goals I have set.
In those moments when I do find myself overwhelmed with worry or frustration, I know I need to remember this: As with all things, it simply isn’t time…yet. But my time will come and all things do fall into place in their own due time. And until those moments arrive, I will have faith in the process and follow the path that stretches before me.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “The places we belong,” brought to you by Hillary Savoie. Last week’s sentence was “When it comes to traveling…”