Paddle Forward

Sometimes, on a Sunday morning I am in that mood when I’m sitting behind my computer, cup of coffee on one side of me & a sunny garden view in front of me reflecting on things. Where you’ve been, where you want to go & most of all, where you’ve made it to at this current moment & how you’ve gotten there, who you’ve gotten there with & how many of those factors are still present. They say success is a journey, not a destination. Which is why reflecting on how things were to how they are currently & how much further you still have to go becomes consuming. So many check points to factor in, so many people you’ve picked up on the way. Has it been a straight line? Likely not. Detours, road blocks, bumpy patches & most of all getting lost along the way is what my life has comprised of. Those things have been both minor & major set backs, but I ended up finding my way back to the original route eventually.

Mistakes, losses, confusion, they wear you down, & the people you’ve picked up along the way can prey on that. They can be the back seat driver, telling you certain routes are better than others, question your judgements, laugh at you when you want to stop & ask for directions & start to make you think about your competency of completing the journey. Some of their judgements weigh on you, because they are in it for the long haul. You may have picked them up half way through, or they could have been with you since day one. Either way, the ones you decide to travel with become the narrators of your journey – their thoughts & opinions ingrained into your head.

You’re journey is most likely by car, but the way I like to think of conquering back seat drivers is at sea. Because the journey is like you’re in a boat & you have an ore of how you want everyone else to see you & you’re paddling & paddling with that one ore but all you are doing is going in circles & making yourself unhappy for not being able to move forward. But if you want your life to change you have to pick up the other paddle of how you see yourself & balance both in order to move forward in your life. The narrators that get you down, you need to stop catering to them, narrating your life choices & letting them make you feel bad for the path you have chosen. You listen to them of course, let them have their opinions & hold onto that paddle as a means of balance, because the way you let other people see you is not always how you see yourself. Then, you also need to look at yourself, remember the path you originally decided upon & pick up that paddle & go towards it.

I write about this because I let my journey be one sided, using one paddle for about a year. I knew what I loved & I knew where I imagined myself ending up, but I let people get in my way. Telling me what I was supposed to do, where I was supposed to be & I treaded in circles for a year, unhappy & unmoving. I finally got the courage to pick up my paddle & start moving forward to wear I am now & towards where I want to be.

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