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Monday, August 27, 2012

Life's a Journey


They say life’s a journey.




And so far it’s been quite a trip – learning to crawl becomes learning to walk, learning to walk becomes learning to do so without being hit by traffic or roaming elephants or falling off a cliff. You progress and learn how to use a toilet and read and write (assuming of course that by reading this you’re all literate… if anyone actually reads this trash). You progress through school and learn the basics of physics and math and languages and geography and history and art and begin to develop a personality and you learn how to trust and make friends and how to love and hate.

When the foundation’s been set, you learn how to make difficult choices like what and where to study or whether or not to grow up. Some get married straight away and sprout a family, a white picket fence and some llamas. Others start climbing a corporate ladder and some try and produce an empire or become dictators or assassinate [or lick] royals. Some become doctors and lawyers and actuaries and psychiatrists while others become toilet cleaners and Celine Dions and gypsies.    

Last night a friend said to me:
“Can I ask a slightly random question? And slightly existential:
are you searching for something?”

And I had to think about that for a while. What was I searching for…

For those who go through 300 years of med school, have you arrived when you’ve finally graduated? Or is it only when you become specialized? Or is it only when you’ve become the best?

For those who have families, have you arrived on your wedding day? Or at your first house owning? Or at the birth of your first child? Or is it only when they’re potty trained or graduated or sprouting grandchildren?

Do celebrities ever arrive? Or dictators ever conquer enough? Do archeologists only find success in uncovering mammoth ancient ruins? Do cleaners ever get things clean enough? Do travelers ever see enough of the world or endure enough adventures?

Can you ever have enough friends? Earn enough money? Find enough time? Sproot enough offspring? Get enough ticked off your bucket list (http://barefootedgypsy.blogspot.com/2011_01_01_archive.html)? Find enough happiness?

A couple of weeks ago I found myself being potty trained all over again – learning how to use a pump toilet. Then I found myself learning to walk again – it’s a different kind of ground on board a sailboat. I had to learn again how to keep meals down while the boat bounces about on rolling waves and every time I go ashore it begins again because the land seems to constantly shift beneath my feet. I’ve gone from pretend-to-be grown up to an infant in days. 

I’ve thought about it a lot over the years – but last night’s question really made me ponder. I know I’m definitely not just gypsying about to escape real life or run away from responsibilities, but what is it I’m searching for? It’s like I’m chasing something that doesn’t even exist.

This is probably far far and further too deep for a Monday morning in the office/ on the commute/ in a space station/ lazing in bed or on a beach/ wherever you may be… but I really am curious how anyone ever really knows that they’ve arrived? While I’m still frivolously happy plottering about this incredible world – meeting amazing people, seeing incredible beautifulnesses, sampling foreign cuisines, learning new skills and licking foreign artifacts – but where and when does it all end? How do you know it’s time to end one and begin a new chapter?  

Life’s a journey all right, but where does it end?



.... THE END.

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