Are you at the beginning or the end of your journey?

Photo courtesy of Free Digital

There’s definitely a different energy at an airport in the evening than in the morning. Last Thursday I left for Dallas around noon. People were still greeting one another with smiling faces, eagerness and patience. Gentlemen stepped aside to give someone else a place in line, while women helped other women weighted down with children and luggage. You can tell when people are at the end of their journey rather than the beginning. They bury their heads in books, phones or magazines, tightly clutch their belongings and rush to be the first in line. The niceties disappear, get absorbed by their impatience, while tired babies cry and people roll their eyes in annoyance. On Sunday night I waited for my luggage in baggage claim. Technically it was Monday morning, although my Sunday had not ended. It was close to one o’clock in the morning and I was still facing a 45 minute drive home by myself.

As I slipped into the parking shuttle, my eyes connected with the only other person aboard. He smiled genuinely, eyes lighting up the darkness, and asked if I had an enjoyable journey.

I couldn’t help but dwell on that word, Journey. It seemed out-of-place, especially when the more common term would have been trip. But, yes, this trip was more like a journey. Besides meeting many talented writers, hearing exceptional speakers and learning more about the publishing industry, I discovered a little more about myself too. For a long time I have felt like the odd-woman-out with my peers due to my ever racing brain, over-active imagination and flowery words. But after meeting a few hundred people just like me, I am reassured of my sanity. I am reassured that my abnormality in one circle, is considered creativity in another.

I want to face my life as if I am always at the beginning of the journey. I don’t want to bury my head in solitude or avoid eye contact with the world. There is an overwhelming sense of excitement and optimism when you are at the beginning of something. You haven’t been disappointed yet. It is that energy that I hope to create every day.

3 thoughts on “Are you at the beginning or the end of your journey?

  1. I love this post, too. Even at my age, I can feel I’m at the beginning of yet another journey instead of at the end of one. It’s important to keep that sense of forward motion. Glad that writing conference was rewarding for you. Now we have to find one to go to together.

  2. I like your observations, our attitude does change but I guess flying brings out the inner toddler in everyone. Trip is very American but is gaining ground rapidly here. Trip sounds more like falling on your face, journey is deeper, more connective and soul-searching. I don’t quite know if I like the verb ‘create’ with that energy, that makes it feel something ‘fake’ to my ears, as though you have to generate this power to deal with the world and pretend that it’s all hunky-dory. That energy is about outlook and optimism, about going around the world fresh-faced, about everything still being novel, you can’t make that up but I guess we have to train ourselves to see things that way. I guess it’s being a child. If you follow my confused train of thought! 🙂

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