My journey has been one with a lot in the making. Your journey has too. It is interesting to see how our journeys can seem like they go backwards so many times and yet every journey is forward.
I've been known to say that I'm taking more steps forward than backward. The truth is, in a journey, you're never going backward. You may be going in directions you know are not right. You may be going on new paths never explored. You may be struggling to take the steps on your journey that are in front of you. But, your journey is not backward.
Leaving the professional church world after 16 years was hard. It was a choice but not totally a choice. My struggles with anxiety, depression and the wrong escapes to treat them made the choice. Others had to help make that choice. My journey that took many years of schooling, mentoring, studying and growing seemed to be going backwards.
Journeys don't go backwards.
In my first day of looking at properties as a Realtor, I saw the journey continues forward.
Looking throughout Metro Detroit for properties that an investor I'm working with might like to buy, I came upon the little purple house. It looked like a great option from the description and pictures. It looked like I needed to check it out as it might be a commission in the making. Instead, it was another step on the journey.
There I met, let's call her Angie, and her adorable daughter. They were residing in the little purple house that was now for sale. She was abruptly scared, "I didn't know anyone was looking at it already! We aren't packed! We don't know where we're going!"
My heart struggled and my mind searched for words. Then, the years of training, preparation, and previous steps of my journey came to mind. I listened and learned from Angie. I explored the home, but no longer for my investor or my commission. I explored to be on the journey at the little purple house, with Angie and her daughter. I learned so much about the conditions of the house, and every reason my investor should stay away. I also learned about the incredible strength of Angie to make a better life for her daughter, to show the strength needed to get away from abuse, and the willingness to do whatever it takes to keep her journey going in the directions she and her daughter needed.
You might look at her life and think, that's not a good life. You might judge some of her choices and think less of her. Others may pass by her and feel sorry for her.
To hear her story and be on the journey with her, I would disagree. Angie is going towards better. Her steps are difficult and the terrain is tilted against her. I don't feel sorry for Angie. I'm inspired by her.
The most important thing I got to do that day wasn't to look for properties, or judge the worthiness of the rental income possibilities of a house. That day, I got to look at Angie in the eye and tell her, words that shouldn't mean much from a stranger, but in that moment, they seemed to. I told her I was proud of her. The tears in her eyes showed those simple words from this simple Realtor who simply just met her, actually mattered. They became part of her journey. Part of my journey.
My journey is not backwards, just not what I expected. I learned that on my journey at the little purple house. Your journey, though more difficult, painful or different than you expected isn't backwards. You're moving, you're inspiring, you're loved.
I'm proud of you, too.