Two-Way Street

Ultimately it doesn’t matter whether you go forwards or backwards: you need to live your life as well as you can.~ Eric Roth

Our latest adventure was driving Sarah back to school at Western Illinois University and then on to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, I reflected upon our 8 week trip home for the summer. Everything I wanted to do had been done: baseball game with our kids, downtown for a Chicago river cruise with friends and family, time at the family farm in Wisconsin, evening out at the theater with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, lunches and dinners with good friends and time hanging out with Jason, Kelsey and Sarah.

As we see the Willis Tower getting smaller in the rear-view mirror, I realized that sometimes travel isn’t always about moving forward, but coming back, again and again, to what is always important to us. Although moving forward to new destinations, experiences and people can be exhilarating and rewarding, the consistent presence of familiar people, places and events often mold our path through this world and this life as we continue to move forward.

We arrived in Macomb to move Sarah into her first apartment and thought she too was traveling backwards/forwards, both in Macomb and in Chicago, while forging her way into a new world. She straddles both realms as they feed off of each other in a constant tug-o-war between moving forward and moving backward. She continues to rely on friends, feel comfortable, reach out to family and refers to both surroundings as ‘home’.

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Likewise, our son Jason, who is almost 25, leads a life journey of self-discovery by himself and with his girlfriend of 3 years, Kelsey. They are both working and going to school but who knows where their paths will take them, together or separately. Though they continue to navigate into uncharted territories as emerging adults, they also continue to travel backwards from time to time. The same family, the same friends and the same events.

The glory of this kind of travel is that both directions seem to meld together seamlessly at some point to become the present. Our life’s journeys are not like the Metra where there is a definite starting and ending point. We can take both directions and make them our own, not knowing where it will lead, but always knowing constant and change simultaneously.

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