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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Maddox

The Vanishing finish line

"There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after."- J.R.R Tolkien


What is success? Well for some, It is the beautiful picture we fabricate in our minds of what we should and will be doing to obtain the ultimate life goal of "making it". But do we ever reach that finish line, really? For some, the answer is no, we never really truly grasp our goals because they are constantly evolving as we do, and that is the reality of existence. Nothing is permanent. And once we've achieved said goal, instead of celebrating our accomplishments, we starting asking ourselves, "What's next?"

So what is next? Whether your goal is graduating High School, getting into the college of your dreams, having a family, landing that dream job, buying a house, taking an unforgettable vacation, getting married, etc, all of those comes to some sort of end, and you are faced with the dreaded "Now what?"dilemma. And it is a problem we face without even realizing it. The unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves to feel full, satisfied, accomplished, or whatever. It's eating us alive. The stress we put on ourselves, all because we want to feel like we have a purpose. We want to feel important. We want to fit in with our peers who are painting their picture perfect lives, the majestic brush strokes of supposed success we gawk at from afar, daydreaming of their reality that isn't ours. Yet. Constantly chasing your purpose can really wear on a person, especially if they haven't quite figured out what exactly they should be doing in the first place. And maybe what you are doing at this very moment is everything you are meant to do, perhaps it evolves into something else that brings you the greatest joy you have ever felt, or maybe it leads you to meeting someone who might change your life. And if you are really lucky, all of the above. Settings goals is important, having a purpose is what gives us our identity, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. We have the ability to create our paths or at least lay the very bricks to set us on our way, and yet we get so stuck focusing on our setbacks. We forget that we also possess the tools to resolve and move forward. We forget to be kind to ourselves, be patient, and stop comparing. We don't have to follow the blue print as our neighbors, we don't have to do anything at all, and that is the glory of this time in our lives. This is the absolute time to be alive. And we get so hung up on the notches in our belts, that we forget that our journey can sometimes be the most fantastic place to live. There doesn't need to be a finish line because we all know where we end up when our time comes. In this precious time we are given- We must learn to enjoy the small pit stops that make us stronger, resilient, wiser, and let our experiences soften our hearts and brighten our spirits knowing we are given the gift of living in a place of infinite opportunities.


-I often quote J.R.R Tolkien who has always been an inspiration to my spirit as an artist and adventurer. The very quote "There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after." represents that often times we go after something we think we want or need and it only brings a result we weren't necessarily after. Whether that result is a good or bad thing is really a matter of personal experience, but in the end, trying to not force an end result. You might start off in one bad scenario, and end up right back where you started. It is all about your outlook and openness to the universe. Sometimes the very thing you are looking for, looks a bit different than you imagined.

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