I just drove approximately 13 hrs in two days in order to go to a concert. This is one of the crazier things I’ve done as a fan. However, when I look at the past two days, it was about so much more than just a concert, and therefore, possibly, not so crazy.
When people learn that I enjoy roadtriping (yes, I made it a verb) by myself, the most common response is “I’d get so bored!” or “Don’t you get bored?” (or reactions along those lines.) The answer is, no. I love it and it’s one of the most free feelings I’ve ever had. It contains some of the wonder that western stories have where the lone cowboy traverses the great American deserts with no other company than his horse. Nothing can tie him down for long. He is like the tumble weed, going wherever the wind blows. He is free.
So, I like driving, cowboy stories, and just went to a concert. What does this have to do with art?
Let me explain. As I drove across those very deserts that hold such a prominent place in tales of the wild west, I allowed my mind to wander. I contemplated how this weekend was very much like my art career. I had a grand goal to drive to Vegas and see Home Free in concert. I could have allowed myself to focus on that goal, getting frustrated with slower traffic, feel pressured to hurry along the way, or get flustered in the unknown streets of Vegas (ok, I did let that get to me a bit). Instead, I enjoyed the scenery, took a couple pictures of snow covered mountains and enjoyed the drive. I didn’t let my anxiousness to arrive at my goal keep me from relishing the process of arriving. So why do I let the hours of practice, the messed up drawings, and the years of waiting to realize my dreams to becoming a self sufficient artist get in the way? I’ve been discouraged at the fact that I’ve found myself in yet another non-artistic job because I have bills that need to be paid. I keep forgetting to focus on enjoying the ride because I’m so focused on where I want to be instead.
This, finally, brings me back to the title: “Journey before Destination.” This is a quote from one of my favourite authors, Brandon Sanderson in his book “Way of Kings.”
“Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination.”
Don’t be so busy trying to arrive at your destination that you forget to enjoy the journey.