The Road of Life

Driving down the road; twists and turns.
Windows open I smell the rubber as brakes burn.

Mountains ahead; I push down the gas.
Sunroof back; I hear cars speeding on the overpass.

Tap the brake; I come to a fork in the road.
Through the windshield I see fields so freshly mowed.

Right or left; Where does this pavement lead?
Traffic in the rear view; I pick up speed.

I’m almost there; I’ve followed each and every direction.
Open highway; signs all pointing to my perfect destination.

Mile marker after mile marker; I take my exit, I’m almost there.
Radio on; I sing along as the speakers blare.

Suddenly I’m spinning; I grab the wheel, trying to regain control.
Eyes closed; I replay what happened; did I hit a speed bump or was it a pothole?

I hear the gravel as I pull off the pavement and onto the berm.
I look around; did I make a wrong turn?

Just up ahead I see a dirt road as the sun begins to set.
Pulling back on the road; reminding myself this adventure isn’t over yet.

Blinker on, vehicle slowing down, I make my turn.
Eyes wide open and lessons learned.

-Desiree Angelica Young

Have you ever been driving down this road we call life and suddenly you hit a bump out of no where and it shakes you enough to make you slow down and look around? Or maybe you slam head on into a brick wall and think you must’ve totaled your entire world? I think we have all faced these speed bumps on our journeys. Some times we get comfortable and set the cruise control only to realize every one is passing you by. Then there are times we drive so fast trying to reach our destination that we forget to appreciate the scenery around us. And other times we think we know exactly what direction we need to go only to be met with a detour.

Life is incredibly unpredictable and that is also the beauty of it all. You never really know what is just around the next bend or how many turns and detours you may have to take. But you keep filling that tank with those you surround yourself with, the choices you make and actions you take and you keep driving. You keep driving even when the final destination may change because the only other option is to put your vehicle in park and stay stuck, exactly where you are.

I’ve traveled many different roads in my life and hit several speed bumps and taken more than a few detours. But at the end of the day I truly believe they all lead us to exactly where we are meant to be.

One of the biggest detours I have taken was when I was eighteen and my dad was diagnosed and ultimately passed away from esophageal cancer. I had just graduated high school and started my first semester at my dream college. I was getting good grades, had a wonderful group of friends and I was cruising through what I thought would be five years of college and end with a masters degree in social work, living in a city, working in schools. I slammed the brakes in major road construction when my dad passed and I made the choice to move back to small town USA and pursue a degree in criminal justice at a local college while keeping my childhood home.

I know on more than one occasion in that time period I felt like I was sitting at a never ending red light and that I had no idea where I was headed. I thought my GPS was broken. I hit my brick wall and thought my life was totaled to say the least. It wasn’t!

I think back to that time and now I know that i was just going in the wrong direction and needed rerouted. The alternate route isn’t necessarily always the easiest or fastest but it certainly leads you to where you are meant to be. And it may take minutes, days, weeks or even years to figure out where you are now headed but if you keep driving with positive people, a strong mindset, and lots of will power you will find that you are traveling down the exact road you need to be on.

These speed bumps and detours come is all shapes and sizes. Each and every one of us will have to deal with our own and find our own way. Some will face death of loved ones, divorce, major illness, addiction, and everything in between. But we all have to make the decision on which way we will go and how we react to the potholes or sinkholes we are faced with.

In regards to my weight loss journey, while most has been smooth, freshly paved roads; it’s not always a joyride. Since having my surgery I have been diagnosed with my second autoimmune disease. When I was initially told why I hurt all over and was struggling with day to day tasks after I worked so hard to be a healthier person I was beyond angry! I slammed my car in park, debated reverse and didn’t want to put it into drive ever again. It took me a few days to accept this as just another speed bump to teach me the lessons of self care, positivity, and some times letting others give me a ride when I really need it.

What all these speed bumps have taught me is that it is certainly okay to take a break from driving but never let yourself completely run out of gas because there is always another adventure out there waiting for you. It make take a few wrong turns and back tracking but you can always find your way, again.

In this exact moment I can tell you that I am cruising along at a steady pace, windows down, music up and taking in all that is around me. I am happier and healthier than I have even been. I know I will face more road construction, goat paths, unforeseen detours and red lights in the future but I’ll do my best to slow down, be patient, and keep that road rage in check until the the light turns green and I can push the gas and pick up speed again.

P.S. A huge thank you to the beautiful soul who gave me the idea for this blog post. Words can’t ever thank you enough for jumping in the car and traveling with me with such positivity and direction. I am forever grateful for your love and guidance! ♥️ Love you to the moon and back.

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