Since I moved, I often do an evening walk along the Bay. The other night it occurred to me just how far from Ohio I am nowadays.
The physical distance is 1,100 miles. My route, both physical and spiritual, has been much more convoluted along the road less traveled.
I look up at those same stars I could see in Ohio. (Well, some of them. There’s an awful lot of light pollution in the city.) I think about how it stayed light much later during the summer there. I think about all of the loops, stalls, and fast forwards that have occurred as I’ve revolved on this big blue-green ball.
- My aunt committing suicide
- Dropping out of college
- Living in Okinawa
- Living Jacksonville
- Traveling to France
- Taking a job in Georgia
- Getting fired from that job
- Earning my M.S.
- Getting divorced
- Living in Tampa
- Losing my dad and grandpa, among others
- Traveling to so many great places
- Taking my current teaching position
- Earning my Ph.D.
And there’s so many pit stops in between these milestones. So many stops to look at the scenery. So many stops to fix a flat or add water to the radiator.
Twenty years. Some days it feels longer. Some days much, much shorter.
Once upon a time I wanted to be a Chemical Engineer who got married, was financially stable, and traveled. Those are the only real things I can remember from my lofty 18-year-old goals. Things seemed like they would be so straight and easy. Sometimes things have been easy. The past few years have felt the easiest. I guess that’s a good trend to keep up.
I still like the idea behind this painting. We have our ups and downs throughout life, but as we grow and learn those hills and valleys feel a little more mellow.
I guess this post is me stopping to look back and see where I’ve been. I’m trying to not look too far into the future. It’s too foggy. In the meantime I’ll enjoy watching the dolphins swim in the Bay and the birds flying among the palm trees. I’ve got a lot of good things going right now, so I’ll try to think I’m heading on the right path. Even if I’m not, history tells me that I can still end up in a good place.