My sister and I are horrible at navigating. Before GPS we got lost at almost every outing. But you know what, those scenic routes that took us off the main path are the trips that are most memorable.
It’s the same in life. The detours I take are what I will remember most when I’m old and gray; the places I have lived, the people I’ve met, the countries I’ve traveled to. Those experiences are all due to not following the safe path. As Maya Angelou said, “You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot — it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”
It’s true that I often make mistakes — horrendous ones. It’s true that it’s damn scary at times to not be able to see the path in front of me. It’s not true however, that I’ve ever regretted not giving in to the fear and not following the safe path.
When I look at these young people who participated in and spoke at the March For Our Lives rallies, I am struck by how much they embody Ms. Angelou’s quote. They are the sum of everything they have experienced to date…good and horrific. They took an experience that I would not wish on my worst enemy and used it to trigger positive change.
The wisdom I have gained with each new strand of gray and would like to impart is, to find the courage as these young, outspoken, advocates did, and carve out your own lane. After all, the journey of life is the discovery of your true self.