“Life is a journey, not a destination" (insert eye roll and long sigh here).
Whoever coined this phrase likely intended to be motivational and evoke feelings of empowerment and encouragement.
Welp. I am not sure if it's a result of my self diagnosed OCD, my inclination to over achieve or my preference for a full glass (because let's face it half full or half empty it still half) …but no matter how many times I have heard the aforementioned quote it has never changed my belief that there was a place I was supposed to be professionally, personally, socially, romantically, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially (I think I covered everything)and it never made me feel better about not being "THERE"
The truth is there is some relief in the idea of being "THERE."Reaching a destination denotes a degree of finality and completion. So, the idea that life was a never-ending journey created major anxiety for this girl. That anxiety either manifested through or was triggered by (still unpacking that part)a little voice in my head that kept asking... “Are we there yet?” And no matter how much black girl magic, girl power, or curvy courage I sprinkled, conjured or mustered I could not figure out how to quiet that voice.
The question haunted me. It made me defensive, made me feel like an impostor and convinced me that I was not worthy of engaging, doing or even existing outside of the box I was trapped in. Because somehow my not being “THERE” made me unworthy of being great.
I'm not sure what prompted it, but one day I decided to engage the little voice; to at minimum entertain the inquiry intelligently(mainly with the hope that response would make the voice go away).
"Are We There Yet?", the question ran back and forth through my mind, but, WHERE THE HELL WAS “THERE”?
I realized at that moment that I needed to re-frame the little voice because it was not my enemy. Rather it was an audible manifestation of my black girl magic, girl power and curvy courage challenging me to be intentional about my journey and to do the work of really thinking about what “THERE” represented in all areas of my life.
In the months since that moment the answer to the question, “Where is “THERE”,has evolved. I have added, removed and re-prioritized “THERE” a few times, and contrary to my original hope the little voice did not disappear. However,our relationship has transitioned from inquiry to dialogue. I am now able confidently to respond to the voice, “No we are not there yet; we are “STILL ARRIVING”.
STILL ARRIVING… These two words gave me permission to do all the things I felt unworthy to do without guilt, fear or reservation. They freed me to be open and engage opportunities. They empowered me to embrace the beauty of my existence, explore my skill levels and engage my passion and share my social conscious, my experiences and my voice.
I am STILL learning STILL growing and STILL ARRIVING and my guess is, so are you. SOOOOO I have a great idea, let’s do this together. Once a month we will have the opportunity to share our progress, setbacks, successes and victories because it is all part of the journey.
My name is Joy, welcome to STILL ARRIVING!