I am approaching the end of my journey. It has been a long 3 years. Very long.
I am tired and cranky from the struggle to travel this far. Childish cries of “are we there yet” ring through my head. I’ve been on the road so long that I find that I can no longer truly remember the beginning or the stops along the way.
A new WLS friend of mine responded to my cries of discouragement by sharing a story about her brother.
Brother went to apply for a job. When he got to the job site, there was a long line and he just got in the line along with everyone else. He didn't think about all the other people who were in the line; he was just confident that he would be one of the ones picked for the position.
While waiting in the line after about 30 minutes, he had gotten to roughly the middle of the line. The fellow behind him had gotten frustrated and was about to leave. Brother stopped him and said, "Man, wait a minute, look back behind you and just check out how far back we were 30 minutes ago. You have waited in the line this long, so why you going to leave now?"
When the fellow looked back, he realized that the line behind him was very, very long and, much to his amazement, he had actually come a far way in the line already. Then Brother told him, “Look to the front of the line.” The fellow did.
When the fellow looked to the front of the line, he realized that they really did not have that far to go. But he was so busy thinking of how long it had taken him to get where he was and thinking about how far he had to go in the line, that he never stopped to look back and see how far he had come.
Then my friend turned it back around on me.
“I don't know what has happened along your journey to discourage you, but don't let it. You have made it to the front of the line and there is not much journey left. Don't sweat the small stuff honey, in fact, don't even sweat the big stuff. You have come too darned far to get discouraged on your last bit of journey.”
Man, Janice is SO right! I’ve been focused so long and hard about where I am in my journey that I failed to see how close I was to the end, and I’ve failed to look back and see how far I’ve come.
I’ve been discouraged when other WLS friends catch up with me, pass me, reach the end of the journey before me. I’ve worried that I’ll let people down if I don’t make the intended end of my journey or that I’ll find the end of my journey leaves me in a place I did not mean to go.
Instead, I think I need to heed Janice’s advice. Stop fretting about where I am and how long it’s taken me to get there… or how many people got to the goal before me. Instead, I should smile and be thrilled that the journey is almost over. And be PROUD that I stuck the journey out as long as I have and that I’ve come as far as I have.
This is MY journey. I cannot compare myself to others. Only I know the exact road I’ve traveled. Yes, I have many wonderful traveling companions along the way, and for that I am grateful. However, if they travel the road differently, it does not mean that I have failed.