Cheap coffee, pristine views, and the road. The road that goes on and on... And so it lulls us into a state of blissful calm and philosophical contemplation. Introspection and exploration.
This road trip didn't go as planned. And that is not a problem but a fact of life.
I love road trips because they take you out of your habitual patterns and allow you to learn about yourself and others in drastically different circumstances: away from home, sharing long hours in the car, getting lost and found in new cities...
If it wasn't for the road trip, the discovery of who you are (or a little better understanding of it), the experience of yourself in a new situation, and the fleeting new glimpses into others faced with new circumstances would not have been so easily accessible. It is a gift - one with a price (or so it has been for me), but with a wealth that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Revelation of yourself and others, realization of certain truths, discovery and novelty that have attracted the human mind long before history was written are all here on the road, free for the taking. We are the discoverers, the truth-seekers, the dreamers and the wanderers.
But poetry aside, this particular road trip turned into an experience we did not seek to find. To put it bluntly, when our car was broken into and all my clothes packed neatly in a large suitcase were gone along with 2 sets of Anton's skis, we faced a challenge - both logistical (for him) and emotional (for me).
I'm not going to get into the details of what happened, but instead just share the key profound moments that produced a shift. When what happened had finally synced-in, I found myself crying in the middle of a shopping center, contemplating how I got here (reflecting globally on my life) and why it all happened the way it did. I was overcome with emotions, and not the best ones: regret, self-pity, shame, disappointment. I felt sorry for myself and to myself, sorry about where I am, sorry about how I got there and sorry that I disappointed myself. (more below)
Now, you may think it doesn't make sense to feel these things considering the incident was random and unrelated to my actions. Yes, that's true. But my creative mind loves to make connections, to generalize details into greater truths, to connect the dots, and so I look for patterns, messages, greater themes, and ultimately, for opportunities to instigate inner and outer change. When something throws you out of your status quo, it becomes an opportunity to profoundly change something within yourself and adjust the course of your life. So I took this opportunity to reflect truthfully and deeply on the greater picture of how I felt about myself and my life, and I let myself experience everything that came up to the surface.
Feeling this fully and allowing the emotions to penetrate my being, it took just a few minutes of deep, raw, untaimed emotions for me to decide to move on. Along with deciding to move on, I decided that I'll figure this out. I'll get up and go forward from here. I decided to listen to my heart more, and to make more sound decisions. I decided to try harder, live truer, and be more loving, more giving and more authentic with myself first and foremost. I decided to grow up a little more and take full responsibility for myself and my actions. I decided to take back my power.
And so the bottom line is, everything is good when it comes to personal growth and self-development. Every challenge is fertile ground for this personal work. Life is full of riches - both tangible and intangible ones. It is full of surprises, twists and turns. It is full of lessons and philosophical gems. It is ever-inspiring, challenging, stimulating. It's our choice whether to give up under the external pressures of life or to participate more fully and passionately in it instead.
And when unexpected things happen, we can put it to good use - experience the emotions full force and feel alive in our human skin, analyze and learn, make a plan for something different, adjust our strategy, and start walking. One step at a time, keep your new destination in mind, and keep driving that car of your own life to better places and beautiful new destinations!