Developing Life Skills
Why a road map? Road Map to Your Dreams is my abstract metaphor for life journey and life goals. I want my girls to choose their own destination (life goals) but I want them to have the skills to get there.
I love to travel and I love maps. I have a great sense of direction, but I am not so sure how this happened. Perhaps I started to develop it during road trips as a young child. We took numerous roads trips as a family. To get somewhere, we actually had to pull out paper maps. I have a strange affinity for paper, too. I loved it all. We drove the eastern seaboard visiting friends and family. Present day, maps are all over my house. I believe that if you know how to read a map, you can go anywhere. It is just a matter of choosing your route. If there are road closures, poor weather, multiple car pile ups, natural disasters, breakdowns or any unforeseen mishaps- course correct as needed.
Since becoming an adult, I have taken countless trips involving planes, automobiles, boats, bicycles or trains. I have missed a flight or a connection. I have had luggage delays. I have had flights delayed and delayed. I have had flights cancelled. I have arrived at the airport with my family in tow headed to check in- only to realize that I had forgot my ID. In my travels, nothing comes close to the string of mishaps that I faced driving across the country with a dear friend from college during one undergraduate summer. We flew from home in NY to Atlanta to pick up my car. Somehow my brother had convinced me to borrow it.
My friend and I drove from Atlanta to California and then drove all the way back to New York. While great with maps, I received an unanticipated crash course in auto mechanics. All sorts of parts on my car failed. We burned through coolant and engine oil. At one point, we were driving without brakes. The plan was to drive at night when there were fewer cars on the highway and just drive. Who needs to stop on the highway? We planned to coast to a stop, as needed. In case of emergency, we would use the hand brake. Yes. Shocking and stupid. We had to alter and abbreviate our return course a bit. Okay, a lot bit. We abandoned the end of our trip and headed straight for home. I should tell you that we did, eventually, stop to fix the brakes.
With maps, if you know one direction, you can figure out the rest. I will create the parallel with getting in tune with one’s inner compass and developing a skill set aligned with that compass so that even if you get turned around or leveled, you can reorient yourself and begin again: course correct, chose an alternate route, or change the destination all together. I want my girls to have the capacity to reroute or detour, planned or otherwise. At an early age, my girls have experienced a tremendous loss and with God's help we will make it through this. I hope that they use this as proof. If they made it through this, indeed, they can make it through anything. Oh, the possibilities! Every day I try to model the same.