I’ve often had the words flow effortlessly from my lips that it’s all a part of the journey. I’ve heard that shared sentiment from others countless times. It is a philosophy that I subscribe to, a prescription for a healthy outlook and mental well-being.  While I’d still like to believe that our experiences serve as stepping stones opposed to stumbling blocks, my current reflection and my introspective current have steered me in a different direction. A new direction. A necessary adjustment that feels partially organic and partially contrived.

I welcomed in 2020, a new year and the start of a new decade like a child waiting to open an unwrapped gift. Enthusiastic about tearing off the gift wrap, ribbons and bows with equal excitement for what’s inside. Hoping that what awaits us, beneath the tissue paper and bubble wrap, meets our wants and needs. Perhaps a surprise that’s totally unexpected but wildly embraced. Gifts of Empowement, education, compassion for one another, gratitude, peace and daily acts of kindness. Oh yes, and a compass to direct us on our many journeys.

Hindsight and the year is 2020. I don’t know about you but I become fixated on the opportunity to begin with a clean slate, resolute about self-improvement and the chance to mend whatever it is I consider broken or needing repair. I felt like at the stroke of midnight as the ball dropped in Time Square, the proverbial ball dropped in my court. It was up to me to make a move of seismic proportion. That’s an awful lot of pressure on any one person’s psyche.  Especially my fragile one.

Only twenty-nine days into the new year, we have profoundly felt the tragic loss of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, two of the nine souls that perished just three days ago in a helicopter crash. We humanly cannot fathom how their lives could be snatched from us in a heartbeat. Three girls, age thirteen, with their entire lives ahead of them. Mothers, fathers and coaches who have devoted their lives to their children, putting family first, cut short in an instant. Surviving families whose hearts are broken and whose lives will never be the same. A community, a country and a world whose sadness and tears cannot and should not be contained.

As I turn on the news about other happenings across the globe, glance at the headlines on the front page of our newspaper that awaits us outside our door every morning, and catch the commentary in between my favorite tunes on my playlist, my heart is heavier. The fragility of life washes over me and my tear-stained cheeks. I ponder, I journal, I write and I express my worries and fears. It doesn’t erase the anguish nor turn back the hands of time. It does however release the emotions bottled-up in the pit of my gut which liberates me to move forward just enough to reflect and reexamine. To be moved to action.

I remind myself to inhale deeply and exhale with purpose. I ask myself what kind of journey I wish to travel upon at this moment in time. What kind of journey do you wish to travel upon?  Although “we cannot direct the wind, we can adjust the sails,”  Dolly Parton so profoundly states.  And so the journey begins… again. I am ready to adjust my sails! While I constantly cherish and celebrate my family, I relish in the idea that we each have the strength and courage to create a new road map, along the way, on this life we affectionately call a journey. If you’re so inclined, begin your journey again… Possibly our paths will cross. In any case, always remember you are never navigating alone.