Journey within the journey- the I-35 split.

Driving back from Austin, I realized a lot of people lose sight of the true purpose of a journey.

The notorious congestion of Austin. Photo Cred: Sumaya

I sat at a stand still in traffic (the ATX usual) and decided to roll down my windows to enjoy the beauty of the distant hill country, being forced to pause my journey back to DFW. I turned up Midland on my special Spotify playlist and stared off at the sunset. It was a nice, warm mental break from the otherwise frustrating drive. This is nice, I thought. What a beautiful day. I didn’t even realize the sun was going down earlier–I was too focused on slightly speeding and weaving in between out-of-state drivers who clearly aren’t used to the 75 MPH speed limit. Left lane is for fast, passing drivers only, FYI.

I was smiling to myself. To the sun. I noticed people staring at me,  probably wondering what the hell I was doing with my windows down in 100 degree weather with a smile in the middle of a “red” twenty minute delay traffic jam. I noticed frustration, impatience, boredom and even anger on the faces of the drivers surrounding me.

Why?

The roads were full. We are each part of the traffic jam. There’s nothing you can do at this point–why not take this time to enjoy the journey within the journey? What benefit does anger have towards the situation? Towards yourself?

The sun was setting so gracefully behind the skyline. Orange, yellow and blue filled the sky. I tuned out the noise of the city and tuned into “‘Cause I’m lonely for you only,
Everyday is just a deeper shade of blue” of Mark’s voice and took a few minutes to just breathe.

Photo cred: Sumaya

Now broaden that concept…Life is a journey. We all have major goals–the promotion, the big move, the degree, which we get so caught up in reaching, any delays, obstacles or unforeseen circumstances frustrate us and chip away at our ambition. But why?  If things happen, deal with it. Passed up for promotion? That sucks. But life goes on–don’t let that steal your joy. Another promotion will present itself, always does. Failed a few courses? No big deal. Education is supposed to prepare you, sometimes it takes longer for us to learn new things–all the better to apply at a later time. Sometimes relationships don’t work, and that can be devastating. But learn from it-feel the heartache but remind yourself life goes on. Every second passing is one that will never pass again–soak it in.

Learn from yourself. Then learn to laugh at yourself. Learn to enjoy the failures, delays and obstacles because you’ll be frustrated most your life if you don’t.

By the time you reach that goal, you’ll look back at all the time that passed you by without even realizing it. I was sitting there releasing endorphins and soaking the sun in a traffic jam while hundreds of others were pissy at their delayed journey. Don’t let that sunset slip past you like they did. Stop and enjoy the delays in life. The failures. The challenges. Yes, even the I-35 traffic jams.

Breathe. It’ll be OK. 

We aren’t here to be perfect, we are here to be happy.

 

 

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