Can You Find Joy In The Journey?

If Monday were a person there is a good chance I would have been arrested for first-degree murder because I would have given it the sort of beating that would make veteran cops feel sick.

The funny thing about it is if I told you what happened you would be concerned about my judgment and worried that about whether I had snapped over something minor because the day itself  didn’t have any one item that merited the sort of response I just described.

But what we often forget is the things that break us, the moments that make us want to lash out and unleash our fury upon the world are rarely big things.

It is a thousand tiny paper cuts that make you lose your shit and start ranting with reckless abandon. Broken glasses, spilled water and shirts stained with coffee are on that list too.

Can You Find Joy In The Journey?

I started blogging in May 2004 on a whim and had it not been for the Shmata Queen’s comments about my writing I doubt I would have continued.

What I didn’t know then was how blogging would change my life in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined. It was inconceivable to me that I would go back to my first love of writing and try to make a career out of it.

But things happened and life beat me up a bit and made me reconsider who I was and what I was doing with it.

Somewhere along the way I began to picture what I was going through as being an adventure, a great journey to figure out not just who I was, but who I wanted to be and what sort of life I wanted to live.

The changes didn’t happen overnight and it took an awful lot for me to buy in but once I did I went all in and expected to see some hard moments but always figured I would find a way around them.

When they hit I always asked myself “can you find joy in the journey?”

As long as the answer was yes I was always certain I was on track.

Monday was the first day in a long time where I truly wondered if I had fooled myself into trying to follow the wrong path.

Stories and Opportunity

I never grow tired of Casablanca. It has been my favorite movie for years

It has been my favorite movie for years, first because I had the proverbial man crush on Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and then later because the writing is phenomenal.

Every time I watch bits and pieces or it in its entirety I think about very much I want to be able to write like that. That is the kind of storytelling that makes me race to my keyboard and put words upon a page.

It makes think of my children and of Echoes of The People We Miss.

My grandparents always pushed me to work on my writing and said I should focus on making it into something more of a hobby but like I said I started out by going a different direction and figured that was how things were supposed to be.

As for my children, well I want them to feel passionate about whatever it is they choose to do with their lives. I want them to go after their passion the way I attack this keyboard.

Every time I touch I do so with the intent to craft something magical and magnificent.

It feels like I fail more than I succeed but it is better to try and fail than not try at all.

Murdering Monday

What made Monday so awful is that final papercut and the stained shirt upon which all my coffee lay.

It was the feeling that no matter what I did or how hard I had tried to make certain things happen it just didn’t matter.

All of the hard work I put in felt like it had been lost. It was like digging a hole in the sand that keeps filling back up faster than you can empty it.

I looked back upon the past and tried to figure out how I could have come so far and slipped back down so fast. It made me think of Bogart and his Gin Joint’s quote.

She Walks Into Mine

But the thing about it all is if you watch the movie Rick doesn’t let that one moment define who he is. He figures out how to suck it up and he gets back up on his own two feet.

I don’t know if I would do as he did and let Ilsa go and I don’t have to know. All I need to remind myself is that I found joy in the journey before and I’ll find it again.

The path to the place I am heading doesn’t have to be straight, major life changes rarely are.

The important thing is to keep going and to remember that not all who wander are lost.

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  1. Cort March 25, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    I may not comment much, but your writing continues to amaze and enthrall me, Jack. As does your perspective. I’ve stumbled onto this path, as well, by happenstance — both good and bad. And I don’t always know if it’s the right one when it comes to measures like money and success. But it’s been the most fulfilling one I’ve found yet. And I’ve grown more confident, when asked, in telling people that I’m a writer. It just feels right. Cheers and thanks.

    • Jack March 26, 2015 at 8:03 am

      Hi Cort,

      I am always appreciative of your time and your comments. It seems to me the gratification that comes with this path is large enough to make the monetary challenges less important.

      That might be just me trying rationalize things but then again maybe it is not. 🙂

  2. Larry March 24, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Things work out in movies or they end. It’s easier to have the attitude you admire. In real life, things don’t always work out or fade to black. It’s hard – especially when you keep trying and things don’t go the way you think they should.

    • Jack March 24, 2015 at 9:46 pm

      Yeah, that is how they normally go but I happen to also like movies where the heroes don’t save the day.

      Sometimes it is nice to see a more realistic portrayal, helps keep us balanced.

  3. Gary Mathews March 24, 2015 at 4:51 am

    Monday’s absolutely blow, and Rick (Bogie) has to be one of the coolest movie characters ever! Hopefully Tuesday doesn’t suck nearly as bad.

    • Jack March 24, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Rick was awesome, damn he was cool. There are very few people who make me wish I was like them, but he is probably one.

      Good thing he was fake, huh. Hard standard to follow. 🙂

  4. Nancy Davis March 24, 2015 at 2:44 am

    Hi Jack,

    I read what you said, and I couldn’t agree more. I am working on a project that takes a ton out of me every time I sit to write it, but I know in my heart of hearts that story needs to be told.

    I also started my blog on a lark. Were it not for some people pushing me along, I would have given up years ago, but the girl who wrote poems every day in study hall refuses to go away. Thank God for her.

    • Jack March 24, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Thank god for her is right. That girl is doing something and it is going somewhere.

      I know that feeling about the story that has to be told, I know that one ever so well. It just won’t let us rest.

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