It’s Not A Journey To Be Endured

This is the road that falls smack in the middle of my hometown and the beach house. 

In the past week I’ve been forced to reflect on the process of writing. Initially there was an interview for a magazine, and then a questionnaire that was finished while the house was silent and my family slept at 1.30am this morning. It’s funny how you can tap away at the keys without really thinking about what you’re doing. Here’s the topic, here’s the idea, can you have it done by Monday? I’ve had days where I’ve concentrated on the word count as much as the words. Those are the days when I think about returning to the office.

The days where sentences refuse to form and paragraphs are indecipherable. Words clumsily fall out of my head, they blur as I read them back to myself. Delete, delete, delete. And then there is the beauty. The words that skip and dance, and without any conscious thought you find the answers right there in front of you. Of course, it all makes sense now. That’s exactly how I feel.

G and I were stuck half way up the ladder. We weren’t sure where it was headed anymore, we’d lost sight of its end, and we didn’t wan’t to keep going. He hated his job, and I’d not seen him this unhappy. We worried constantly about how it was all going to work. The mortgage, school, groceries, and child care. Would we ever have a home in Australia? How would we get back? How long should we stay away? Were we doing the right thing?

And then in the midst of it all I received a call from a friend. Cancer. Our lives had been so similar, both on the move, children the same age, friends in the same home town. “You’ll be okay though? Right?” I was full of stupid questions, it was my first time. Her diagnosis changed everything, all of our commonalties almost disappeared as there was something so much bigger going on. G and I went to visit her and realized how every tiny problem can immediately be erased when you’re faced with mortality. And then as the year went by, domino by domino, the bad news arrived. The death of a child, a father who lost his wife and children, a family who lost their daughter. It was perhaps the saddest year I’d ever known.

We were driving someone home. We’d only met him that night at a function, he was also Australian and he was telling us why he was in Qatar. He kept talking about the “journey”, he listed country after country like they were badges he’d received at boy scouts. He’d got through them, “survived” them. I sat in the back seat and stared out the window. My friend was gone, families were devastated and you “survived” living in Morocco in a five star hotel. I wasn’t perhaps my best self at the time.

I tapped away at my keyboard in the darkness, answering the questionnaire. What has your blog taught you? What’s been your biggest lesson? The words that had been swishing around in my head as I listened to “the journey” from the back seat of the car, made their way onto the page.

“It’s not a journey to be endured, its an adventure to be enjoyed.”

Let’s enjoy it.

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