"Pull over to the side of your journey and love how far you've come." — Danielle LaPorte
I’m writing this post on a flight to Atlanta, Georgia, for a quick visit with friends.
I was born in a small town in Georgia and lived my entire childhood there. My parents were born and raised there as well. Both sets of grandparents lived and died in the same small town.
Georgia doesn’t really feel like home to me anymore, as I haven’t lived there in over twenty-six years. But it’s still part of me, part of my history. You can hear it sometimes, just barely, in my southern accent — it’s faint and not always noticeable, but it’s there, and it weaves in and out of various words and phrases I still say. Occasionally someone will notice and ask where I’m from, and their question prompts me to pause and reflect on my journey. One that did in fact begin in that small town an hour and a half south of Atlanta.
At the time of writing this, I’m thinking about my upcoming birthday next week and recalling memories from my childhood. Some of them make me laugh. Others make me cringe. I’m also aware I buried my dad in Georgia two and half years ago and this is my first trip back. As I swing between memories from twenty-six years ago when I lived in Georgia, and memories from two and a half years ago when my family gathered there one last time, what I’m most struck by is the desire to pause and appreciate how far I’ve come. To reflect on all the twists and turns over the years that have led me to this current moment.
I’m not the insecure teen leaving Georgia, trying to find her way.
I’m not the grieving daughter burying her dad, unexpectedly lost to Covid.
Both experiences shaped my story; both shaped my growth. While I know it's not possible to do so while I'm flying 30,000 feet above the ground, what I’m sensing from my seat in the sky is the desire to pull over, to stop, take a deep breath, and take in the journey itself. Yes, I am still changing, still growing. There’s more life and more journey ahead. But right now, at this moment, I’m feeling the importance of taking a pause and loving how far I’ve come.
I invite you to join me. Can you take a moment, pull over to the side of this life journey you’re on, and celebrate that we've made it here to this point and this place? It may not be where you thought you’d be, and it isn’t where you’ll be forever; there are always more twists and turns on the road ahead. But for now, for this moment, love how far you’ve come! We’re in this together, Jen