On Wildflowers…

Appreciate the Journey | Slightly Off Kilter

Five days a week I get up, get dressed and drive 15 miles to work.  I take the same route every morning… one that is a bit convoluted if you were to ask my mom, but it’s my route.  There’s nothing notable about it really and there are days when I can’t honestly recall the journey.  I look up and I’m here… almost on autopilot.  It could be because I stop for coffee only a few miles from work but that’s not really my point here…

For most of my life, that’s how I’ve lived.  Always aiming for some destination.  A goal weight or a white picket fence or the “job title” that I thought I deserved… and when I got there?  I was still left wanting…

The knight in shining armor turned out to be a douchebag wrapped in tinfoil… the promises of self acceptance when I reached an arbitrary number on a scale, shattered when I still saw myself through toxic eyes.

The vision I had for my life as a child has been shattered time and again with the reality that has unfolded and the thing I’ve come to realize is that if you are always focused on the destination, you miss out on the best parts of life… you miss the wildflowers on the side of the highway.

Last night I experienced an A-HA moment when I stepped out in a conversation that turned from chaos to clarity.   The details aren’t important but the lesson is one that I can’t ignore because it affects every corner of my twisted world.

Happiness of your present | Slightly off Kilter

Fear.  Fear of the unknown can suffocate the happy.  Fear of not living up to an arbitrary ideal.  Fear of letting someone down.  Fear of somehow being less than enough.  Fear of hurting another. Fear that screams WAIT!!! TURN AROUND!!! DON’T GO DOWN THIS ROAD!!!  Fear that says “All the others who came before acted in this way and this will be no different…” even though there is nothing remotely similar to the occurrences I’m comparing to.

Fear silences the happy.  The happy of the “right now.”  The happy that says this is good.  The happy that says that there are no expectations.  The happy that says this is different.  The happy that says I am different.  The happy that allows you to just “be.” The happy that is the wildflowers on the side of the highway.

I’m on a path that I don’t know where it will end up and I’m completely ok with not knowing.  I’m enjoying the journey without a time table or expectations.  I don’t have a crystal ball or even a map to tell me where the “destination” is and I’m ok with that.  I’m more than ok with that.  I’m at peace.  Even if I DID have a crystal ball, I wouldn’t want to know.  I might wanna talk lottery numbers, but I don’t want to rob myself of the journey.  I’m simply enjoying the wildflowers on the side of the highway.

I’m reminded of a conversation I had two months ago with a dear friend who is like a brother to me who wisely said “Go for it!  If it ends badly, you’ll pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and carry on but you’ll have the journey and you deserve every ounce of that happy”

Those who have heard the readers digest version of the events of last night are cautious… they have voiced concern.  They want me to be happy and I love each of them for that.  I love them for raising a cautious eyebrow and I love them for trusting me to take each moment as it comes.

The journey.  That’s all I want.  The joy of the right now. The clarity came from a conversation related to human interactions and assumptions… and y’all know how I feel about assumptions… when the cards were lain on the table (figuratively… there was no cribbage last night) and both parties were allowed the freedom to be vulnerable and honest…  the fear subsided.  For me anyway.  I can’t speak for him.

Truth is… wildflowers might not be forever.  They might wither and die.  I know that and still, I wouldn’t give one day of seeing the beauty that they provide for fear that it might end.  I don’t want to live in a world absent of wildflowers.  Instead I find myself appreciating each moment they share with me.

Some of you have followed along on my path to a healthier me… my attempt to become a runner… the idea that someday I’m gonna fit back into those size 8 red Rocky Mountain Jeans that I have kept since high school… I’m not giving up on those ideas.  I’m embracing the journey.  I’m going to the gym, not because I see some end goal in mind… not because I want to fit into a certain definition of “socially accepted beauty”… but because some days, I like to get lost on the elliptical.  Some days I feel stronger when I lift weights and I need strength.  The byproduct of embracing the journey may be a fitter and healthier me, but if I fixate on that (and y’all know how I love to fixate) I will get lost when it doesn’t happen on my arbitrary timeline.  I will miss out on the experiences along the way.

I reserve the right to change my mind.  What works today may not work tomorrow and that too is part of the journey.

Right now my needs are being met in more ways than I can explain.  I don’t feel the pressure to reach a goal.  I feel the need only to enjoy each moment of happy and to let the good unfold.  I suppose that too is a goal – to embrace the present.  The right now.  The journey.

There is nothing familiar about this place where I am emotionally.  I still have my baggage of what has happened in the past.  I still have fears of the roads I’ve been on and where they lead.  but right now… in this moment.  I have peace.  Peace that today works and this moment is good.

At Peace | Slightly Off Kilter

Mostly because I don’t want to live my life missing out on the wildflowers on the side of the road.



  1. Walter Perry says

    You know those stories you read every so often about somebody finding a 10 million dollar painting in some dildos garage sale? I love that shit. Somebody was too fucking stupid to realize what they had and somebody else gets rich off of it. Yeah. That’s where my imagination is taking me. Someday some news crew shows up on his door and asks how he feels about losing out. They show him footage of the new person doing a Tom Cruise on Oprah level of happy dance and all he can say is “I didn’t know it was that valuable”. That’s right. You didn’t. Now go lotion up your hand. Get rid of any rough spots. You’re going to need it to be nice and soft for a long time.

    • You know Walter, sometimes, people treat a Van Gogh like a Velvet Elvis because they believe that EVERY painting is a Velvet Elvis. They make assumptions about what lies on the canvas but the canvas is covered by tarps and ropes and bungee cords and the owner doesn’t really know what he has because it is something he’s never seen before. When you start to lift the cover off, sometimes there are flashes of recognition that what lies beneath is not, in fact, a Velvet Elvis… even if the owner doesn’t fully know or appreciate what lies beneath the tarps and ropes and bungee cords, they are wise enough to at least want to see more before making a decision to toss it in the garbage.

      There are those who won’t take the time to look past the tarps. And then there are those who are willing to say “I was wrong. I don’t know what I have here but it is not a velvet Elvis and it deserves better care and handling. I’m not sure it will fit with my decor or if I will like the style, but I’m interested in seeing what else lies beneath before making that call.”

      Those are the stories that I like. The one about the guy who isn’t afraid to see what lies beneath.

Speak Your Mind