“Even when you think you have your life all mapped out, things happen that shape your destiny in ways you might never have imagined.” ~ Deepak Chopra
At 7:48 AM on June 17th, 2015 – two years ago – having no idea of what would lie ahead, I posted this photo to my Facebook page. Seventy minutes later I turned out of my driveway, having sold or given away just about everything I owned – save for what could be tightly squeezed into the back of my little Subaru – and began the most incredible 23 months of my life … a journey that took on a life of its own and became known simply as “The Ride.” Looking back as I sit here this morning – having returned home to the lush rolling hills of NY state, and now sipping coffee on the deck of my new apartment – it is still hard for me to believe that it all really happened. Most of it still so hard to grasp, as if a distant dream that I’ve just wakened from … and yet at the same time, though I sit looking at the same green hills I did before I left, they are now different, as am I. I find myself still working at waking up, dancing through the cobwebs of it all.
So many changes internally … not to mention the recently birthed plethora of gray hair and a few fresh wrinkles that now line my face … changes I had not anticipated, and changes I cannot yet fully label or understand the why and how they came about. Recently someone said that my journey reminded them of the book “Eat, Pray, Love.” Well, actually, she said it reminded her of the movie, but having read the book before, I thought it deserved a re-read, and borrowed it from the library. She was right. I’d not thought of it before, nor did I leave on The Ride seeking any particular spiritual quest … I simply wanted to travel and meet people. Live with them, share their lives, their hopes, their sorrows. Maybe write about them. But in that process, The Ride did indeed become a pilgrimage of sorts. It became the bringing-together of an even longer journey … the period at the end of a 28 year passage through two very distinct parts of my life. No, correction … it became a comma, a semi-colon. The third part is just beginning.
It is so very true … I had it all mapped out, like we all do, this walk on the earth we call Life … and yet things happen, things that take us on the most incredible journeys, things that change us in ways we did not expect, things that give us unexpected gifts of challenge, joy, love, and growth. Two years and a million psychical miles … I’m looking forward to what lies beyond the semi-colon.