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Shannon Brady

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Point A to B. It’s the ‘To’ part that matters

NJ Transit“My wife is 45 and won’t go anywhere. Even if I arrange the car, driver, door-to-door service from point A to B. Unless I’m with her the whole way, she won’t go.” “Mine too man, and she’s only 30!”

Tidbits of a conversation I overheard (alright, I confess. I was eavesdropping) at a Starbucks in NYC between two businessmen discussing the challenges of planning a family vacay.

What timing. The conversation took place just as I stepped out of Penn Station, killing half an hour before meeting a girlfriend arriving from another direction to take a yoga class, enjoy lunch (restaurant TBD, all part of the adventure), and make our way back to our respective Burbian abodes (she: Long Island, me: somewhere near the NJ/PA border).

I have a completely different view on getting to my intended destination. I LOVE it. Sure, I can understand the aforementioned wives’ desire to arrive without all the hassles of getting there. But skip the journey, and you miss out on all the juicy stuff: learning new processes and procedures; developing self-reliance; cultivating patience; connecting with real live humans right smack in front of you; loosening up and adapting to changing circumstances.

Sit home and allow someone else to handle all the logistics, and you remain needy. Dependent. I thank my parents to this day for lovingly but firmly nudging me out the door in my teens toward public transportation. It began with a ride on the big yellow banana school bus (tip: the seats in the back are the best – offering serious air time over every bump). Not long after I graduated to flying across the world, navigating airports, busting through language barriers (a smile and funky hand signals work wonders), and figuring out subway systems (albeit with a few embarrassing moments stuck in a turnstile). At age 44 (one year shy of the aforementioned wive), I can’t imagine what life would be like without all the skills gained from the ‘getting to’ part of every journey I’ve taken:

  • Self-reliance. I get to be my own Sherpa.
  • Adaptability. Things can change on a dime. I’ve gotten good at finding a Plan B in many situations.
  • Connection. Admittedly, a little tougher now as everyone, even the elderly man next to me on the train yesterday whipped out a pair of ear buds. But when you’re lost, sometimes the quickest way back is to smile, ask another human, connect.
  • Confidence. I arrive. I pat myself on the back. I did it!!

Go for it. Get from A to B on your own. See how it feels.


3 comments on “Point A to B. It’s the ‘To’ part that matters

  1. greg weaver says:

    And you gotta love the Penn Station “local color”, nothing like the sights and smells of the underground cave; as we stare at the schedule boards waiting to sprint to the gate in what is best described as a rugby scrum cattle call- ugh!

  2. CultFit says:

    Beautiful post, thank you!

  3. Great reminder weaved into a wonderful story! Thanks

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