Don’t be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, in as much as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some.” – John Keats (english romantic poet 1795-1821)
I decided to stop my car, a gesture of trust which I never did before every time I see a hitchhiker. This time I sense a feeling of familiarity when I opened my window and asked her: “where are you heading?”
“No where, I just needed a ride”, she said. I opened my door and let her in. I decided to invite someone into my personal space. I’m the driver andÂ host, Â she’s my guest.
The song Life is a Highway is still playing and she quipped: “the road is rough”! I sensed she is not referring to the physical road but to life itself. I begin to ask some questions yet respecting her personal space.
Ross: Where are you going?
Hitchhiker: I don’t know. I ran away from home!
Ross: Oh! How old are you?
Hitchhiker: I ‘m old enough to know the difference between right and wrong. Chronologically, I’m 16.
Ross: Do you have any other interest aside from hitchhiking? (trying to avoid the topic of her previous statement)
Hitchhiker: I’m a very sociable person. I ‘m quite known in our campus as a school player in some sports like volleyball, basketball and chess. I’m a choreographer, sometimes I direct plays. Because of these activities, I have a lot of supporters and friends around me plus a dozen of enemies too! Uhmn, I’m not being conceited , okay? It’s just a fact and this is what irks my father the most! He doesn’t like the crowd I’m getting into or maybe because I skip school a lot! The classroom bores me. It limits my pace and way of thinking. I would have appreciated if they would change uhhmn …it into a “Socratic method of teaching!”
Ross: (listening attentively, avoiding to be judgemental)
Hitchhiker: My father thinks I’m not smart and wise…that I should learn to live his “surname”…to carry it with dignity!
Geez, he even cut off my allowance and grounded me for truancy. I thought of showing him I’m not that stupid at all! Can I smoke?
Ross: Sure you can. I opened the window, the free wind blowing through my hair carried too many similar settings in my life. Her story is my story too. I reach out for a stick myself. The puff of smoke silently waited for the next cue.
Hitchiker: With aplomb she continued…I ran away to show them I can live life by myself. It has been a week now since then. I left without carrying extra clothes and with just five pesos in my pocket. Now, look what I have now. She showed me her backpack full of things she needed for the travel and money.
Ross: What did you do then?
Hitchhiker: Laughingly she said, oh…when my friends found out about my situation, they collected money for me and offered their home for me to stay. I wrote poems, love letters, essays, school themes and term papers for some students who are too lazy to think! I did part-time choreography and street painting for money also. I live my day without worrying. I spend my day without hearing someone taunting my incapacity or misdeeds.
Maybe you’ll ask me what did I gain? Well, I have accepted myself. My failures, my mess ups, my life. I am what I am, because this is how God made me. I will never stop even when the road is rough! Isn’t it cool?
Ross: The breeze continued to caress my memories…I’m hearing the same words, same experiences too many years back!
Smilingly, I replied… The sad truth, is this: You are just beginning to experience the millions of ways, both great and small, which your Dad and Mom had or will embarrass you during this phase of your life. They don’t do it on purpose. There are times when they seem appallingly clueless, hopelessly out of touch and fundamentally incapable of understanding your music, your friends and your priorities.
When it happens, I’m asking you to please remember that they are doing their best to keep up with you and that the truth is, though the external appearance of the culture or generation may change, there really aren’t that many things it can throw at you that they haven’t already faced/been through/learned from. And if you let them, they can actually be a pretty handy source of information and (dare I say it?) wisdom.
In spite of all the conflicts of perspective between your adult parents and teenager like you, your Dad and Mom will be sticking by your side every step of the way, helping you navigate and cheering you on. They will always be there for you.. They’ll be easy to spot…just look inside your heart.
The life period you are living in now is a sketch of your whole future. You must understand yourself and the people around you and find harmony.
There are many people who can help you or can hurt you.
The only wish I have for you is to find your own way in this life and not to regret about your choice.
Hitchhiker: Pensively, she said smilingly. I will remember that. I will not regret of my choice. Uhmmn…there’s a crossroad ahead. I’ll take off now. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.
Ross: Ok…By the way, what ‘s your name?
As she gently closed my car’s door, I just realized I met my own teenage self…she’s now at the crossroad…thinking perhaps which way to choose.
A’journey…this is my reply to your meme . If someone would ask me if there is anything in my life that I should change if given a chance, my answer will be: NONE!
I will thread the same road all over again, not regretting any choice, bad or good!
Borrowing the words of a hitchhiker , please allow me to allude hitchhiking as our way to survive in this life:
Have no expectations, hitchhiking opens one up to marvelous experiences and planning puts a block on anything wonderous that may come your way. It’s better to not be in a hurry, when you hitchhike you are on the whims of life and the best one can do is hang on and LEARN. Hitchhiking is tough and requires a solid mentality, it’s a good way to discover your weaknesses and strengths. It is important to pay attention to your surroundings and be aware!” – Rajam aka roaddog
This meme is originally from Camille passed on to me by A’s Journey.
It is supposed to be a conversation between your present self and your teenage self… What would you tell your yournger self?
I have climbed several higher mountains without guide or path, and have found, as might be expected, that it takes only more time and patience commonly than to travel the smoothest highway.” – Henry David Thoreau (American Essayist, Poet and Philosopher, 1817-1862
There is a road, no simple highway, between the dawn and the dark of night, and if you go, no one may follow, that path is for your steps alone.” – Jerry Garcia
Sound character provides the power with which a person may ride the emergencies of life instead of being overwhelmed by them. Failure is… the highway to success.” – Og Mandino (American Essayist and Psychologist, 1923-1996)
On the highway of life, we most often recognize happiness out of the rear view mirror.” – Frank Tyger
The desire to fly is an idea handed down to us by our ancestors who…looked enviously on the birds soaring freely through space…on the infinite highway of the air.” -Wilbur Wright (American Inventor and aviation pioneer. Brother of Orville Wright. 1867-1912)
A man’s conscience, like a warning line on the highway, tells him what he shouldn’t do / but it does not keep him from doing it.” – Frank Clark
We cannot well do without our sins; they are the highway of our virtue.” – Henry David Thoreau (American Essayist, Poet and Philosopher, 1817-1862)
The safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” – C.S. Lewis (British Scholar and Novelist. 1898-1963)
The road to success is always under construction.” – Lily Tomlin (American Actress and Comedian. Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2003.b.1939)
The royal road to a man’s heart is to talk to him about the things he treasures most.” – Dale Carnegie (American lecturer, author, 1888-1955)
In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.” – Ayn Rand (Russian born American Writer and Novelist, 1905-1982)
All of life is a journey which paths we take, what we look back on, and what we look forward to is up to us. We determine our destination, what kind of road we will take to get there, and how happy we are when we get there.” – Anonymous