Are we there yet?
I worked as an instructor leading backpacking expeditions for teenagers. Some days we would hike 5 miles, some days .5 miles. No matter the length, I would never tell my students how far we would be hiking that day. I wanted them to stay in the moment and experience the journey at hand.
During each hike, the kids would chatter among themselves and I would listen. I listened to hours and hours of renditions of top 40 hits, stories of life back home, and debates about who is hotter. Justin Bieber or Nick Jonas?
But none of these topics hit my ears as shrilly as the maniacal question reverberating throughout the forest. “How much longer?”
How much longer?
An age old question. How much longer until we get to camp? How much longer do I have to listen to your menial conversations?
Recently, I have been tormenting myself with this same question.
As I sit in traffic during my 2 hour daily commute. How much longer?
As I sit at my desk, longing to be outside. How much longer?
How much longer until what? Until I’m happy? Successful? Feel fulfilled and complete?
I give myself the same answer I always gave my students.
“I don’t know.”
“It just depends on how fast we hike and what obstacles get in our way. But I do know, the more we hike, the closer we’ll be!”
My students always hated this answer. They wanted an exact time and mileage until they could remove their heavy backpacks for the night.
Now, I understand the eye rolls I received when I gave this answer. I want to know exactly what I need to do in order to feel happy, successful, fulfilled, and complete.
But, I don’t know how much longer that will be. I don’t know what obstacles will be in my course, or which path will be the fastest route.
What I do know is the more I push forward, the closer I will be.
This coming week, while you’re struggling with emotions of discontent, stay in the moment, experience the journey first hand, and keep moving forward.