I remember driving to Florida from our home in New York and just wanting to get there already. My father rushed us at the rest areas and never wanted to stop. I counted seconds and miles and time would drag on. I couldn’t wait for the car ride to be over. This thinking pattern quickly oozed into other areas of my life. I couldn’t wait to be 16, then 21. I couldn’t wait to graduate. I wanted my high school diploma, my bachelors degree, and then it was my masters. I zoomed from one goal to the next, always rushing towards my desired end result. However, in all the rushing and gaining I forgot to slow down and enjoy the ride. I could have enjoyed the extra time for coloring, viewing the barns and horses outside the window, or using the time to talk with my family but i was too focused on the end game. Struggle and striving felt normal. I never realized the journey should be relished as much as the destination. Everyone says we will look back and wish we had known this or that and I think this what I think about the most.
When I was in school I thought good grades were the point, actually learning something wasn’t as important as a perfect 4.0. Same thing on future road trips, vacations, and learning processes. The goal had been the be all end all and I just wanted to achieve, to have enough money, to get there. Slowly, through relationships, teachers, and books I have learned the huge mistake I was making. Focused on goals, I was forgetting to enjoy the process. The process by the way, is life. The goals, the gold stars, the mile markers, the accolades and recognition feel great for a moment but we deserve more than feeling great for a moment. They are simply exclamations at the end of a sentence or chapter, they are not the story. The story is where the meat is, the good stuff. Awards, licenses, and degrees are just paper and metal that someone gave a meaning. Meeting new people, making new friends, learning new lessons and the growth I experienced through the struggles and challenges. It was all happening along the way whether I met a goal or didn’t. Those are the things I really cherish. Wherever you are, whatever you’re currently working towards, I hope you are able to sit back and enjoy the process. Appreciate everything you have already accomplished and all that you have. The road you are on right now, your current journey, it’s leading you somewhere wonderful, but don’t forget the wonderful that is going on right now.