I've been lamenting the lack of a roadmap through the middle of life lately. You can read about it here: (Where's Your Roadmap Leading You?)
all honesty, my original roadmap probably looked more like the
journey through Candy Land, all sugar-coated with sprinkles. The pair
look like Dick and Jane as they skip along the brightly colored squares
and they live happily
ever after in the Gumdrop Mountains subdivision.
an awfully long way into Candy Land, up near the Ice Cream Floats and
Peppermint Stick Forest before I realized that I had taken a wrong turn
somewhere because I was passing the road signs for The Big Ds -
Disappointment, Disillusionment, and Depression. I was lost.
Really? This is not my life. It's supposed to be sunshine on the Rainbow Trail.
Over time, I began to retrace my steps and in the process of doing so, I found myself again.
see, what I've learned is that our true selves, our souls, never
change, never fade. They are always within us completely whole and
radiant. And while I may be feeling lost without a roadmap for midlife,
the truth is, the roadmap I thought I had was a child's game. We may have plans and hopes and aspirations, but life takes us in directions we never imagined before. This week marks my eighth year in moving to Grinnell. This was most certainly not on my roadmap or radar, but often times the surprises that life presents are greater than anything we could plan.
Just last evening, a friend of mine who is also "new" to Grinnell was sharing with me how she and her husband think about all the places where they've lived and all the situations and events that brought them from one place to another. Life happens by opportunity, by chance more often than it does by design.
Coming to Grinnell and leaving my hometown, my life, my friends, was not easy for our family. We were truly uprooted and it took a toll on us. We were in a difficult place before we moved and this was magnified when we moved. I had given up on the notion that there was a Happily Ever After. I lost and buried my
radiant self so deeply, I started to sleepwalk through my life.
But over time, new friends, old friends, began to unearth my true self. They saw my radiant light that I thought had gone out. The
thing about our true selves is that when we uncover a little bit of it,
we want more. It feels right. Our intuition and our "gut" tell us
where we should go and if we trust it, we realize that we have been following that all along, not some predetermined way. When we trust that voice, that energy, it always
leads us in the right path. Our gut tells us when we've made the right
choice, when we speak our truth, when we set boundaries. A roadmap
through life often gives a false sense of security. But when we can rely on
our true selves and our inner compass to point us in the right
direction, we find that we may not end up where we thought we would, but
it's the right place.