One of my earliest memories is of asking my parents to play Simon Says with me, and them putting on a Paul Simon record. I still expect skips and pops in specific places whenever the ’70s station cycles through his hits. Raised with his songs always in the background, his lyrics come to mind constantly, none more frequently this year than these, from Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard:
“Well, I’m on my way. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way. I’m taking my time, but I don’t know where.”
And just like the peppy tune, I’m doing it with a spring in my step. This year I’ve learned a lot. And not just about technology. I’ve found the joy and ease in letting go of the reins during my teen programs and allowing teens to truly lead – not just suggest – programs. I’ve learned that the journey is sometimes even more important than the destination. I’ve discovered, just like in that song that’s stuck with me from childhood, that even if you don’t totally understand it (what ever did the Mama see after all?) you can have fun with the process. And ultimately, I’m embracing the idea that putting one foot in front of the other is moving forward and it will lead somewhere, even if I don’t know where it is at the outset. I’m convinced that it will lead somewhere interesting and worthwhile.
I’m feeling pretty positive about this experiment right now. But I want to be clear that this is not where I started out, and if I’d not kept going when I was frustrated and confused and upset, I would have never gotten here. I’m also going to be realistic and admit that while I feel I’m at a high point right now, I don’t expect that it’s going to be all sunshine and rainbows from here on out. There are going to be more challenges. There are going to be failures. There is going to be more frustration. So I’m marking today to remind myself that in the midst of these negatives – because of these negatives – I can find something beautiful.
And on that note, I’ll leave you with another bit of the childhood mix tape in my head. Have a great weekend, wherever it takes you.