Unexpected paths. Unimagined destinations.

by Jan on September 30, 2011

You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack.
You may find yourself in another part of the world.
You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile.
You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife.
You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

~Talking Heads, “Once In A Lifetime”

I have asked myself the question, “How did I get here?” many times.
Most of us ask this question at some point in life. It may not be with those exact words, but there comes a day or days when we look at our lives and realize it isn’t what we expected it to be.

We live life in moments, choice by choice. Over time they build into the life that we have. When you look, you may find that you are in an unexpected place, good or bad.

It may be a really wonderful place. And we might be bemused, how did I get so lucky? For me I wonder, “how did a poor little girl from Troy, NY, end up writing a blog about hope?” It is a surprise. But it has also been a long and winding road to get here. No one could have predicted it.

Sometimes, though, we find ourselves in a not so pleasant a place. We wake up and realize a simple thing like– all those holiday cookies really do add up. All of a sudden we have gained 10 pounds. Ugh.

Or some things that are far more challenging to face—realizing that we don’t like our spouse anymore, or our finances are in shambles, or our dreams are unfulfilled. That part of waking up can be a shock.

I want to acknowledge that whatever it is, it can really be a difficult realization, and it can feel as though we are powerless in the difficulty.

The question “how did I get here?” however, can be a turning point in our life. It is where new beginnings, hope and possibility are sparked. It can be a catalyst to change even though it may seem impossible at the time.

For example, Jim Axelrod, White House correspondent and author of  “In the Long Run: A Father, a Son, and Unintentional Lessons in Happiness” found that life can change in a microsecond. He, too, asked the question, “how did I get here?”

A chance email from a friend caused Jim to reflect on his life. He found that he had become someone other than what he wanted, or what he expected to be: overweight, drinking too much, and barely able to walk a block without being winded. For him the question incited a challenge to beat his father’s marathon record.

Jim could have been defeated by his realization, but instead he began, and that beginning has led him not only to a healthier life, but also to a whole new relationship with his deceased father, himself, and his own son. For more about him and his book, listen to this wonderful segment on NPR’s Talk of the Nation.

So, I’m asking you, how did you get to where you are today? Is it what you expected? Please let me know.

2 comments

First time here. Nice blog and great post. Well done.

by Lucias Odowd on October 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm. #

Thank you, Lucias. We appreciate your feedback. Stop by often!
Hope on Hope

by Elizabeth on October 5, 2011 at 10:49 am. #