Truth - Life is a journey. It may sound cliché but it truly is. Who would ever imagine themselves to be who they are today? We go through things, meet different people, and find ourselves in so many locales, all of which serve to make us who we are. As we strive, endure, and thrive each and everyday we move away from and towards different versions of ourselves. Sometimes you have to get lost to find your way. Sometimes you realize you always knew your way the entire time. Sometimes you just go along for the adventure. This is expedition.

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C.S. Lewis


Florentine Manuscript Copy of Ptolemy’s Geography. Europe, Africa, the Mediterranean, Asia. 1400s.

From When I See You, 2007-2008
Dennis Dehart
One of the things in my newfound quasi-adulthood I have come to enjoy is going on adventures. While my inner homebody despises uncertainty and randomness, the small part of me that craves excitement, and independence wins out from time to time. Sometimes I look up a place to go, or something unique to do and just go ahead and do it. It's both nerve-racking and exhilarating at the same time to be someplace new or to be with unfamiliar people. I take it is a challenge. How can I adapt to the situation I've put myself in. What can I learn about myself here or with these people? What is the purpose in my coming here? Whether it be venturing out to a metro park, walking a different way home from work, or trying out a new restaurant, it's the little adventures of the day that make just as much impact as the bigger gambits.

Every day feels like a struggle to balance a yearning for novelty with the uneasiness of not knowing what's to come. Comfort, security, and stability are admirable qualities too look for but sticking to where you have always been leaves out the possibility to grow, change, and progress. Stagnancy and complacency leave you nowhere except exactly where you have always been. Of course, there's the perpetual debate of whether you'll be moving to something better or facing your biggest challenge yet but that's a risk we have no other option but taking. What we take solace in is ourselves and others around us who stick around for the journey. We may change, and the circumstances surrounding us may do so as well, but those that support us hold steadfast in affording us safe passage to wherever we head. Know that just as others aid us, we do the same for them too. What is the purpose of getting somewhere if we don't bring others along with us? Our expeditions may be our own but they are not meant to be pursued in isolation.

Something happened this week that changed me forever. Internally it was a cataclysmic catastrophe of epic proportions and effectively brought forth unsettled emotions of long ago. It was an emotional week to say the least but I made it. My journey saw me confronting feelings that I had thought I had conquered, and making bold decisions on the kind of person I wanted to be. The anguish that accompanied trying to figure myself out and how I felt about it all was definitively the worst part. Going it alone, or at least my inaccurate perception of having to do, added an extra level of difficulty to the multiple situations I encountered. How do you move forward when you feel like you can't reach out to those who propel to do so? How do you forge your own path when you are unsure of where to go? How do map a new course when can't even place yourself?

While the things that occurred are unlike any that I have encountered before they were still obstacles to be overcome nonetheless. The impasse ended up being myself. I was unclear of my purpose. I was unsure of who I was or at least the person I wanted to be. I was off my game and didn't know how to keep playing it. What did I discover in going through this week of emotional turmoil? Two things, first and foremost, that there's a reason we use the phrase "going through" with the implication of motion. Moving is always a change - whether for better or worse, that's a matter of perspective. Second, no matter what comes my way I will always be okay with time. Patience may be a virtue but like the quote I selected above, courage really is the trial of all character traits. I had to be courageous and say what I needed to say. I had to speak it out loud. I had to be vulnerable and confront not only myself for what I had been complicit in but also those involved. The game I play isn't necessary anymore. I'm not where I used to be or with those of the past. I don't have to play, I can just be. Maybe that's where my expedition has been trying to take me all along, somewhere where I can just be.

Expeditions not only move us from one place to another but they are also reveal things about ourselves and others along the way. Who are we when faced with trials and tribulations? Who is there when we fall to pick us up? Who do we drop everything for and why? What are we called to do for ourselves, and for others? As you pause to take a second to look back and see footprints of yesteryear, that's when you see what you expedition has meant before looking ahead and taking new footsteps. X


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