Monday, March 21, 2011

Annnnd . . . Now . . . No? How About . . . Now!?

My first inclination is to blame Walt Disney, specifically his take on the story of Cinderella.  Ah yes, the beautiful young maiden who captures the heart of a prince thanks to the help of her fairy godmother, and no thanks to her evil stepmother and stepsisters.  Yup, all with a ‘bibbity-boppity-boo’ and a wave of a magic want and Cinderella was in the palace.

I mean, why else would I have this crazy idea that insists on lurking in the back of my mind (sometimes in the front, kickin’ in the front seat, sittin’ in the back se—oops, sorry) that I should instantaneously be good at something as soon as I start it or decide to start it?  I mean, I spent at least half an hour over the weekend mapping out some writing goals, so I should be über -disciplined and meeting those goals already, right?

Yet even as I typed out the last paragraph, the ridiculousness of it was ringing in my ears like a chiming clock (and a catchy, if inane, pop tune).  There are many things I can look back on in not only my own life but also in the lives of others and see where time, patience, and diligence are what got us to where we are now.  For instance, it’s with those three things I learned out to drive as a teenager.  It’s how my husband became a talented guitar player.  It’s how our parents, families, and friends have all achieved countless things in their lives. 

And, in a way, it’s how Cinderella got to the point where she was ready to receive the gifts her fairy godmother had for her.  Because you know what we sometimes forget?  The Fairy Godmother didn’t show up until after Cinderella had completed her myriad of chores, until after her animal friends had taken risks and put in the work to make her a dress for the ball.  It is quite possible the tale could have taken another turn if all of the unpleasant circumstances in Cinderella’s life had been jumped over with a wand and a magical song.  She may not have been as grateful, as appreciative, as beautiful in the ways that matter most had she circumvented all of that and had everything simply handed to her on a silver platter.

Just look at her stepsisters.  (Just think of how lovely they would have been (and looked) if they had been kind, nice, and generous!)

So I (and perhaps you, too) need to remember every journey begins with a single step, but it is not completed until many more steps have been taken, one after the other.  And I need to keep at it even (or perhaps especially) when I don’t feel like it, when the ‘easy’ way is so tempting a route to take.  Don’t, to loosely paraphrase Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho, get so caught up in seeking out the treasure – the end result – of your destiny that you don’t actually live out your destiny.  The journey, after all, makes the arrival at the destination all the sweeter and the ball that much more magical.

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