There was a time when we threw fear and self-doubt to the wind, and imagined our bright, shiny futures with wild, joyous abandon. Pah! We didn’t temper our dreams because…why should we? We knew they could happen; and believed even more so that they would. The journey was beginning. Armed with reckless hope and far too much confidence, we were on our way to glorious conquests. That big, gorgeous world was waiting just for us.
Eventually, we found the world isn’t such a nice place, and the cold slaps of reality really began to sting. For some of us, a dream is not an easy thing to abandon, even as the road becomes less solid and more difficult to see. The world, once a paradise, becomes a hard place, with lots of sharp edges. Still you chase the shards of your dreams on an uncertain path, in what has increasingly become a desert of hope.
Over and over again, we run eagerly towards each oasis. When we get there, we fall to our knees and grab a handful of that sand, disbelieving that this was yet another mirage. Every time it looks like paradise is on the horizon, it’s more desert. Just like with the last oasis. And the one before that.
Eyes, once again, fill with liquid rage; bitter disappointment carves another notch on your soul. The journey is hard, and the journey is long. There are days when you believe your life’s story will just be tales of disappointed journeys, eventually ending in a disappointing death.
As the sand slowly falls from your cupped hands, you shove the pain back in and get up again, just like you’ve done many times before.
But this time, you look around. You see that the desert that was before you is actually many roads. And on either side of each road, there are people you’ve never met, places you’ve never seen. Martinis waiting to be tasted, and laughter yet to be shared.
You realize that while devoting most of every waking moment of your life to reaching that dream and destination, you forgot to live. The quality of the journey matters as much as the destination. Your life could be tales of interesting, adventurous journeys, eventually ending in a more meaningful death.
The sad reality is, many of us will not reach our destinations, although many will. You may, or you may not. In the meantime, there is a choice to be made: That is, to enjoy the journey, to embrace the experiences of people and places along the path, or to stare and trudge straight ahead – to see nothing but desert on either side of you and always an oasis on the horizon.
1/2 oz cherry brandy
1 1/2 oz gin
4 oz orange juice
Shake brandy, gin and orange juice with ice, strain into highball glass. Fill with ginger ale, stir and serve.
(Recipe from barnonedrinks.com)