Wednesday, May 1, 2024


We all know that famous line from The Hobbit where Bilbo announced, "I'm going on an adventure."  Adventures are rarely defined and always scary.  You don't know what lies ahead, and you will face a change in your surroundings and company along the way, but ... even more... you will find a change in yourself will accompany it.

When I first went into Basic training for the Army, I thought it was pure torture.  The first few weeks are called "hell weeks" for a reason.  The whole purpose of those weeks and basic, itself, was to break you down so that you could be built back up.  I fully believe that today's basic is probably a different experience than it was when I went through it.  We endured a lot back then in our lives that would never be allowed in our current day, and that is a shame to a degree.  When your supports are gone, and it is just you versus failure, You discover parts of yourself that you never knew existed.  I remember the pride that I felt when I was in my final weeks, and I thought to myself... I did it.  I COULD DO it, after all.  My Basic training graduation brought more pride in myself than any other graduation or award in my life, because I found the strength to do it when my muscles were literally shaking in my showers at the end of the day.

I exited that training a different person than I was when I entered that training.  I entered scared and unsure.  I left feeling I could conquer and do ANYTHING if I put my mind to it.. a belief and drive that would carry me through many challenges over my life.  You need that confidence to become more than you are, and no one else will give it to you.

Today, I was thinking about how when I am delivering there is no guarantee for making enough money, each day.  I remembered that in my first few years of doing it, I would drive all day under a cloud of stress and anxiety that I would make enough to pay my bills.  Each time there was a lull, I would feel all the fears of failure come upon me.  Then, I would over the years discover that if I just kept going and learn from good areas vs bad areas and so on, I would always make my budget.  The same is true for overcoming challenges that hit me.... I used to stress so hard about them.  But, I learned over my life that it really didn't matter if I did, but I would still overcome, every time.  So... the next time, I just waited .... waited for the next delivery... waited to learn how I would overcome.. knowing I would.  It became an adventure, instead of a crisis.

But, change .. changes you.  Growth changes you.  You become a new person, more confident and more capable with each change.  It's the same you... just matured like a fine wine.  

It always amazes me that people look at god or gods and say... THIS is how they are, and they do not change.  Yet, literature about gods show them being very different to different people and over time.  But, the QUALITIES remain... only mixed in a more mature balance.  The same is true for us.  How we are is very different than when we were 11.  Remember how ignorant we were back then and all the false assumptions we had of society?  Unfortunately, many adults continue to live that naive, but others have matured over time.  Some would call it cynical, but I tend to see it as realistic, since it is based... in fact... in reality.

Don't feel bad that you lose your once innocent spark.  If you were to regain it, you would be once again bait for others to misuse.  Even Jesus says be wise as serpents but innocent as doves.  I would take issue with the innocent part (probably inserted by some monk along the way), since even Jesus overturned money tables.  Wisdom is a viture, and it doesn't come from roses and rainbows.  It comes from trials, which even the epistles say will make you refined and mature. 

Change is a good thing... both in your life and in yourself.  YOU are an adventure, and the sooner you forgive yourself for beginning the journey, the sooner you can rest in the comfort that you know YOU will remain and grow in whatever you face along the way.

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