Joy in the Journey
I have a confession: I have ALWAYS hated the phrase "Bloom where you're planted." I mean REALLY hated it. Possibly because I have always had some issues with contentment. I remember my mom saying this to me and it would make me so mad! It makes me laugh to think about that now, but I still have some difficulty with this cliche.
I currently live in my hometown of Warner Robins, Georgia. I lived here for my entire life until I left for college. I was adamant that I would never return to live here. Although I enjoyed my high school days/friends, I hated this town. It is an Air Force town, although that doesn't have anything to do with my distaste for the town. My major issues stem from the fact that there is simply nothing to do -- no culture, no attractions (unless you count the Museum of Aviation), and pretty much no fun. As a high school student the only place we had to hang out was Steak 'n Shake -- pretty sad.
As an adult, there is still not much to do. So why are we here? When we moved here from Florida, I was able to get a substantial pay raise for a lateral move and the cost of living is much much lower (due to the fact that no one is fighting to move here). My parents still live here, and my grandparents lived much closer to Georgia than to Florida. Because my grandfather had cancer, moving here allowed us to spend a lot more time with him in his final years. That was a blessing. We moved my in-laws here because we were able to sell their house (which had a mortgage) and buy them a house here outright. That has been a blessing for them. Due to the lower cost of living, we have been able to start a family with a lot less stress; not to mention the fact that now both sets of grandparents live in the same town and the kids love that. Also, I really enjoy where I work - my colleagues are great and there is a great family atmosphere among the staff.
All that to say, I should be quite content here but I'm not. I still struggle with the whole "Bloom where you're planted" concept. I guess I have "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" syndrome.
Enter the phrase "Joy in the Journey" - this phrase I can accept. I like it. It speaks to me. My goal is to pursue joy in my every day life. To enjoy the small things. Like I said before, contentment doesn't come easily for me, so I believe that joy is a choice, and it is a choice I want to make every day. I want to find the joy in my journey - even if RIGHT NOW I am not exactly where I want to be. Because it's a journey, and I'm constantly moving toward where I want to be.
"Bloom where you're planted" has a sense of permanence - you are stuck - you have roots. A journey makes one think of moving forward - the exact opposite of being stuck. Maybe the phrases essentially mean the same thing. Regardless, I will continue to seek joy in the journey and will refuse to bloom where I'm planted!