Lots of people in my life have been going through changes. Some, like me, have gone back to school. Some have had marriages dissolve and have moved on. Some have had to move towns in order to move on. Some are looking to the future and what change that will bring. The only constant thing in life is change. Now for someone who doesn’t always embrace change, I think I would prefer the roller coaster life of taking chances to becoming a mushroom. Kept in the dark and fed sh*t all the time, if you know what I mean. I would prefer a life in the sun which allows me to grow and reach my full potential rather than being stunted merely because change is required. Today’s journey home illustrated that for me. That and the importance of a good map.
I’ve had the lucky opportunity to spend a few days away from home this week. I got to visit a stunning cottage on Georgian Bay courtesy of a friend of mine who had also relieved me of my daughter for 5 days. Love my daughter to death but Woot Woot !
She had a great time and I got to come up and join them for a night. The 3 hour journey there presented some challenges to me as I had NO idea where I was going and HATE driving through crappy traffic. Yes, I am one of those that not so silently rages against the gods of traffic as to why there are so many idiots on the road and why are they all around me ? After a lovely day visiting, the daughter and I departed and partook of a nights rest at the Blue Mountain Inn:
The drive to find this darn place tested me to the very limits of my limited patience. Couldn’t find it for love nor money and trust me, I was tempted to love the next person in a carnal way who could give me clear, concise and exact directions to the Blue Mountain Village. Over 1.5 hours totally lost in the back mountain ranges and down town wilds of Collingwood trying to find something that in the end should have only taken 15 minutes. This was not a life challenge that I needed to embrace. I like knowing where I’m going. I like having a map or GPS or both at my disposal at all times. Change like this does not do me, nor anyone around me, any good. But it did I know. I learned to listen carefully and follow directions.
After touring the local scenic caves and climbing in to some odd rock formations, we also visited a 420ft suspension bridge.
Now both my daughter and I share some quirks of personality that include a decidedly healthy anxiety level about small spaces and the potential for things that are suspended to become un-suspended whilst we traverse them. This is not born of experience. This is not born of anything other than an irrational fear of our situation being beyond our control and thrusting us in to change that we are not necessarily willing to embrace. So doing things like this ? Very important for us. VERY. It challenges us to accept change and know that we will be the better for it on the other side. It challenges us to trust.
The trip home ? Well that presented some challenges as well. I decided to change the route home. Not wanting to repeat the 400 debacle I had on the way up, I asked at the lobby desk for an alternate route back to the Toronto area. Silly, silly, silly Lizzy … and me with my map book and GPS phone said Alrighty ! Let’s embrace the change after a fitful nights sleep interrupted by loud TV from the neighbouring room and a general unsettled feeling from sleeping in a strange bed. Yes, let’s go against the norm and provide a challenge to help embrace change AND put me behind the wheel. Yeah. Right. That was smart.
So on the way home, my daughter is navigating. It is at this point that I discover she has no clue how to use a map book. My daughter, the daughter of a confirmed map-a-holic, has no clue how to use a map book. And she is my co-pilot on this little change inducing challenge. This does not bode well. We, of course, take the wrong road which does not reflect her map skills but more the old adage “don’t rely on Mapquest”. Though we do find a parallel route that brings us back to where we need to be, it is with much trepidation that we continue on this alternate journey home. This journey that was going to involve, unbeknownst and definitely unwelcome by both of us, a VERY bendy, roller-coastery road with a VW tail-gater who was going to feel the wrath of this road rage embracing, challenge averse, sleep deprived She-Bear who could tear the roof off a building with her gazer-beam eyeballs. Map book aside, nothing was going to make this journey the pleasant cow gazing experience I had imagined it to be.
The good news is, obviously, that we made it home. We made it home in decent time AND discovered a way to avoid the travesty of travel that is the 400 south on a Friday from cottage country. We embraced the challenge of going a new route and found that the change created new map reading skills for my daughter and an appreciation for me that trusting someone else’s directions might work out. Maybe coming home means different things for different people. Finally getting the education to do the job you know you are meant to do. Finally finding a partner the supports and loves you the way you deserved all along. Finally getting a home that is safe and ready to be filled with new memories. Finally knowing that part of your future will have more change than you expected. Maybe going through the challenge to embrace change is a way of coming home. Home to a place where you feel secure enough to try more challenges, with our without, the right directions. Who needs a map anyway ? You’ll get there one challenge at a time.