Monday Motivation: Enjoying the Journey

Monday, August 6, 2012

Journey of Discovery | Cholpon-Ata to Naryn
image via

Last week a friend I greatly admire told me she's proud of me. She said she's proud of the work I've done through See Jane Write, the success I've had landing new freelancing gigs, and my efforts to grow this blog.

This really meant a lot to me because she is a very accomplished journalist and a social media guru.

Then she asked, "so where are you going with all of this?"

I had a very profound response to this question: "Uh, I dunno."

And it's true. I have no idea where I would like all this to lead. I have no grand goal in mind. There is no 5-year plan. I wanted to be part of a networking group for local women writers so I started one. After leaving my full-time reporting job for a new career in education I missed seeing my byline, so I started freelancing. I love blogging so I blog. But ask me what's next and I've got nothing. I often talk about making my writing dreams come true, but at this point I'm not even sure what that means.

After our conversation, after this revelation, I proceeded to have a come-apart once my friend and I went our separate ways. "You're 31, Javacia! That's way too old to not have a clear life plan!" I told myself.

Enter U.S. Olympic swimmer Brendan Hansen. (Yes, I'm writing about the Olympics again. We only have one more week. Indulge me.) At 30, Hansen came out of retirement to compete in the London games this year. In an interview with Glamour he talked about the importance of appreciating the journey when you're training for the Olympics:
"I swim four hours a day for two years to prepare for one race that's 59 seconds long and another that's less than two minutes. People are like, 'Why would you do that?' But to me, it's not just about the outcome. When you're in a sport like this, so much of it is the journey and so little of it is the race."
This quote brings me comfort even though swimming has very little to do with writing. I'm enjoying blogging. I'm enjoying organizing events for See Jane Write. I'm enjoying reporting and writing. I'm enjoying this journey.

This doesn't mean I don't need a plan. I still think I need one and hope to figure that out soon. But in the meantime, I'm going to keep having fun.

Do you have a life plan? What are you doing to enjoy the journey?


  1. I don't have a plan either and it tears me up inside. The Olympics have had a profound effect on me this year too. I watch all those disciplined, dedicated, and persistent athletes and I know they work HARD and LONG hours and then I get to see them achieve their goal and I'm all like, "Dang Carol, why can't you be like that with your life?" Then I go off and sulk, pout, and get depressed. :(

    1. Don't get depressed! Just keep working. Just keep trying. And enjoy the work along the way.

    2. Hugs to you Carol. Many of us feel that way. Just these last few days I was wondering what I would have done if I'd had opportunity to train for the games (maybe rhythmic gymnastics, I'm not cool with heights).

      Your life path is different from an Olympian, not any less just different. Instead of getting depressed, identify the things you love and that bring joy to your life and pursue that.

  2. my life plan: take it one day at a time and enjoy each day. I used to have a life plan and it just stressed me out because life doesn't happen to plan. ever. I am now focusing on each day and making that day count.

    1. That is great advice. You're so right -- life never happens according to our plans. That's why it's so important to enjoy the journey.

  3. Javacia, I found you through TatianaInFlux, she tweeted this post on Mon 6 Aug.

    I just completed the 31 Day Reset hosted by HappyBlackWoman, Rosetta Thurman and it helped me to articulate my life plan. I blogged about it the whole 31 days if you want to check it out.

    Before I had a plan I was not always good about enjoying where I was. Like Carol above I looked at what others had accomplished and compared myself. The thing is, we don't know the sacrifices others make to get to where they are and the Lord pointed that out to me on several occasions so I stopped comparing (most of the time) and am learning to be content where ever I am, and to enjoy the journey.

    1. I'll be sure to check out your blog and the 31 Day Reset. I certainly feel like I need some resetting these days.

  4. Another fabulous post Javacia! I'm catching up on missed readings tonight.

    I have a sketched plan. It includes a multitude of things. I have an A to Z, but no definite road map of how to get there. That's purposeful for me because I want to be flexible. Life has detours. I'm comfortable with taking them.