nounplural journeys.
1. a traveling from one place to another, usually taking a rather long time; trip:

a six-day journey across the desert.
2. a distance, course, or area traveled or suitable for traveling:

a desert journey.
3. a period of travel:

a week’s journey.
4. passage or progress from one stage to another:

the journey to success.
I have been thinking about this word a lot lately.  Though I never typically think of it in terms of a long trip.  My husband and I love to travel.  We took 2 weeks in Alaska seeing the sights, 3 weeks out west seeing national parks, and cities, and have seen all but 6 states (New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Georgia, and Hawaii) together. When my husband and I travel, we typically call it going on an adventure, or getting away, or going to relax, or taking a vacation.  We never refer to this as a journey.
I have instead been thinking about “journey” in the 4th definition.  A passage or progress from one stage to another.  Being a former classroom teacher I often saw my students journey through elementary school and into junior high.  Their journey would take them into maturity, puberty, and all the other crazy emotions that this growth entails.  Being a business owner/karate instructor, I now see students journey through different ranks, growing and maturing along the way.  But this journey is different.  This is now my journey.
My journey has led me to practice martial arts for 18 years.  My journey has led me to test for my black belt while pregnant with my 2nd child.  My journey has led me to test for my 3rd degree black belt 2 months after we opened our studio 6 years ago.  And now my journey has led me to be invited to test for a master’s rank.  Not everyone is invited and no one is sure when/if their invitation will come.  In fact my invite is a story that I will share another day.  But I am on this journey and whether I feel ready or not, I have the honor of attending camp and testing.  And so I give myself pep talks every day.  I tell myself the same things I tell all  my students.  “You got this.” “Go out and do your best.” “This is the total of all the practice you already put in.” “I believe in you.”
And yet I am on this journey, and I don’t know what the final destination will be. It is scary, and exciting, and fabulous, and nail-biting, and so entirely welcome.  And even after the test is done, this journey, for me, will continue.

2 thoughts on “Journeys

  1. Your post got me thinking about that 4th definition and the ways that we pass from one stage to another. How incredible to be invited to test for the master’s rank. I hope you’ll write more about this because it’s so fascinating! I really like your technique of starting the piece with the different definitions. All were resonant for me as I read.

  2. Your post has drawn me into the idea of that fourth definition of journey. I really appreciate how you move from vacations, which you don’t call a journey (and neither do I because somehow that’s odd), to that idea of passage and all the ways in which it resonates. I will keep thinking about this for sure.

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