Fall for the Traveler, Marry the Journey
Picture this: you’re on a journey to a place that is beautiful to you. You’re at peace, going about doing your thing there when you lock eyes with someone. The gravity is so much that you don’t want to look away. There’s reciprocation. The pull compels you to come closer. 50 imaginary theatrical sequences are playing in your head at the same time. You’re falling.
If there was a way to never have to talk marriage, I would’ve known of it. Trust me, there isn’t. The time when I’m writing this, most of my friends are married; some even have kids whom I’d take a bullet for. It’s only with age that I’ve understood the natural inclination to seek company. I finally understand why most people tend to want to settle after they turn 25. Yet, much as I understand it, the word ‘settle’ renders me in discord with the masses. I don’t want to settle. I fall right out of line here.
I wonder if I stand alone in this motion, but I believe that one’s journey never ends until they pass. I instinctively connect ‘settling down’ to locking the idea of this personal journey in a suitcase that you eventually lose keys to, metaphorically.
I love metaphors, especially travel metaphors.
Each of us, every person is a traveler; each of us has a finite itinerary called life. A set of steps leading up to one final destination. I might dwell further into this premise another day. Today, let’s let it suffice to say that we’re all travelers, going through our itineraries. The world is a map full of beautiful towns, something for everyone’s liking. The final parallel we need to draw for this analogy is of a relationship.
A relationship, any kind, is a convergence of two people’s itineraries (or paths if you’re poetic). Be it as short, long, significant or insignificant; in every relationship that we are a part of, we share our journeys with another traveler. Again, there’s much to elaborate on this premise, but that’s for another day. We’re keeping it simple today.
It’s beautiful how everywhere we see, there are travelers, going about their journeys at their paces. Some resting, some hustling, some struggling, just like ourselves. Amidst this chaos, we find an assortment of travelers that we end up loving and cherishing as our people. We initiate a conversation, talk to them, get to know them, see where they’re headed:
“Oh! You’re preparing for a hike? I’d love to do it.”
“I’m thinking of taking a step back for a while, be a little introspective while I take in every sunset for two weeks.”
“Me? I am here, enjoying these beers. Get your six-pack and we’ll share the nachos.”
“SKYDIVING?! I didn’t even know I wanted to do it. Let’s tandem!”
Every traveler, including yourself, is a product of their journeys thus far. But there’s a journey ahead of most of us. And this brings us to a little conflict. We’re primarily talking about marriage here, but the idea mostly applies to all long-term relationships we plan to form.
It is instinct (the basic kind) to fall for the traveler. The attraction is a mostly subconscious and superficial screening process before we dive deeper. It presents to us the initial assortment of people to interact with. We’re embarking on a journey with this fellow, it makes sense to like them. Instinct is spontaneous, in the present. At this point, it’s time to get real.
Maturity (the very thing that made you open this blog) teaches us to look beyond attraction. Because attraction is meant to bring two bodies close, after which, it fades. You vibe with someone, it’s mutual ease for opening up. Now, talk. Where are you headed? We’re still in the metaphor. Share your itineraries. Bring your itineraries to the table. See if you can fuse them.
There are places on both of your lists. Goals. Both of you have some. If you can have both of your goals on the same list, put them. Maybe you want in on some of their goals, and they want in on some of yours. Maybe the opposite is true. You might need to drop some items off of either list, drop some if you feel the traveler is worth it. Work through it, communicate. I know, this kind of sounds antonymous to the whole fad of winging it, playing it by ear and living life one day at a time. If you dig that, let your list be just a word, a direction, say – NorthEast. Head that way together if you both concur. Be it a word, or a whole book, if you are looking for a relationship, create this itinerary.
The journey of life is often better with the company. It’s more fun in co-op. Partner up and have a plan; have a common direction, gear up and set out towards it. Choose your partner wisely and make it a point that you fall for the traveler, and marry the journey.