Posted in A Moment in My Life

“We Won’t Be Leaving by the Same Road We Came by”

A Moment in My Life – March 22, 2023

Jeannie Yee Davis

There is one thing I know for sure. Everybody is in search of their happy place. That’s the only common denominator. Arriving at the goal is as unique as our DNA. Some are similar, while others may raise an eyebrow. Some turn to dreams to bridge their sanity, which is fine if it doesn’t interfere with reality. Someone chose the fortune cookie factory as her happy place. Okay. Sweets spread a smile. I accept that. For me, my happy place was writing my column every day. I long for those days when a song or a conversation inspired me to get on the page and bring the idea to life. It was the most satisfying victory to reach the end of the page. It’s been a while since I last wrote a column, and far between that one. My column-writing days were my happiest, but at some point, my groove was not grooving. I may need a vacation. I had not taken a day off since my column’s debut. Writers like Eugene O’Neill wrote 24/7 with a story in front and behind him on two desks. Eugene probably had helpers caring for his affairs, freeing him to write. For this girl, if I don’t do it, it won’t get done. If it’s not working, it’s time to try a fresh approach.

We change—life changes. Situations change. Even our happy place. Have you ever returned to a place disappointed it no longer looked, felt, or was the same as you remembered? For me, it was Skagway, Alaska. 2019, no longer mirrored Skagway 1998. That was an unsurprising stretch since life near me has changed significantly pre- to post-pandemic. Expecting to find our happy place intact is a tall order. If you find it, hold on to it with dear life. You’re the lucky one.

For the rest of us, we have to adapt to the changes. Nothing stays the same forever. Life is about advancing to the next step, having a purpose, improving and growing to be the best we can be, and making life worthwhile under whatever circumstances. Everybody changes. Some of us change together, while others change apart. That’s reality.

The alternative to change is remaining stagnant. If you don’t change, you’re not growing and fulfilling the full potential that you may not know you had. If you’re not living, you’re dying slowly. I know someone who stopped living after he retired and has been waiting to die. He’s been blessed with over 25 years in retirement and is still waiting to check out. That is devastating to me when you think of those people who fight to live but check out prematurely, thanks to health challenges. We will all die one day, but until then, why not enjoy everything this life offers if you are physically and mentally able? It’s a journey full of possibilities for anybody who welcomes it. If it comes your way, accept it. Only some people get the invitation.

The beauty of change is the opportunity to reevaluate our purpose. Purpose gives us a reason to wake up each day. Like the retiree waiting to die, he equated his job to his purpose. When his job ended, so did his life. He was old school and failed to recognize that change meant building a new life that could be the best yet. Without knowing it, we’re creating a new life in small degrees. If I’m unhappy, my first step is reassessing my cognitive views. Remove what wasn’t working and adopt positive attributes to create a new life that will keep everything fresh, alive, and organic. Staying in a toxic position isn’t healthy for anybody involved. We don’t need a significant overhaul but must know when to let go and rebuild. Everything happens for a reason, including people. People come into our lives for a time. Sometimes, they stay a lifetime—other times, a season. They served a purpose when we needed them, and vice versa. Nothing will take away those cherished moments, but we may not be together forever.

Changing things keeps life interesting, different from yesterday, enjoyable for today, and something to look forward to tomorrow. If you are exactly where you always wanted to be and live the life that makes you happy, enjoy it. No need to change, but if you find yourself searching for your happy place, it’s time to rebuild and try something new. Regardless if the past were ideal or not, most likely, it would differ from how you remember it. All we can do is keep moving forward, be our best selves, and live our best lives. We have more control than we think. There’s no sense retracing our steps on this journey to our happy place. Be happy. Be brave. Travel to uncharted territories, and know we won’t be leaving by the same road we came by.

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