photo by Lisa Z Lindahl
California Poppies

You are heading towards California.  You decide you want to go with someone else — company on the trip, share costs, more fun you think, ’cause you’ve gotten this far on your own and find yourself a bit lonely, a bit tired of doing everything yourself.

You find someone compatible.  The other person is on the brink of traveling also.  Aha! you think, road trip partner!  You talk; both of you are discussing all the places there are to see, experience.  You mention that yes, all those places — but your intention is to land, eventually, in California.  The other person nods, and then keeps talking.  You think Aha!  They want to go to California too!  Yay!

And you hook your stars to each other’s proverbial wagons and take off together.photo by Lisa Z Lindahl

You buy a vehicle together.  Work and earn money along the way; share gas and other costs. It is being a grand road trip.  You see all kinds of places, meet lots of people — some of whom become friends you stay in touch with even as you travel on.  Individually and together you both have some great experiences as well as a few scary ones.  Then, too, there are just the miles and miles of daily tarmac spinning by.

You are writing home often, and after awhile find yourself avoiding the topic of California in your emails.  So far the trip hasn’t gotten you much closer to that part of the world and when you have brung it up your companion just sort of grunts and doesn’t really respond.  You are getting worried.  You realize you haven’t really brought it up much at all lately.  And lately the direction the two of you have been traveling in has been more and more away from California.  How can that be?  When did that start?

So you bring it up again.  More directly.  “I thought we agreed we were going to California — the long sight-seeing way, yeah — but heading there nonetheless.  Right?”

“No,” your companion replies.  “I never agreed.  I’ve always been thinking about Alaska; I told you that.  You just were so full of California you didn’t hear me.  But when you stopped mentioning California I thought you’d come around to my way of thinking!  Right?”

Hoo Boy!  What a pickle!  All that time.  All those experiences together.  And all the time you were actually headed in very different directions.  How could you have misunderstood each other so?  But you did.  You did.  Your companion did.  And now what?

Set out on your own.  Again.

There are some set backs.  For one, you have no vehicle, your past cohort took it giving you some cash  for your half (less depreciation) — not enough for you to get back on the road in a motorized (read efficient, safe) fashion.  So you hunker down where you find yourself, take inventories: physical,  fiscal, mental and emotional and start making plans and taking actions to get going again.

Some time goes by as you gather the tools and some further knowledge you need in order to take off again on the road towards your (still) desired destination.  A few times you are offered rides, at least part of the way, by other people.  Some were genuine and well-meaning, but felt wrong.  One felt like a downright bait and switch scam, and you were soooo glad you spotted it ahead of time.  What a detour that might have become!  You chose your own time and way to set out.

But you find you are beginning to get tired of doing everything yourself again.  Plus you’ve noticed it doesn’t feel so good not having a particular person with whom  to share your experiences.  Someone who might have a different view/opinion/knowledge from your own, but would still be on your team.   Wouldn’t that be refreshing!  You start dreaming.  You imagine you’d like to have a partner on this trip, someone who shares your desire to go to California — and beyond!?

photo by Lisa Z Lindahl
California back road

Now, you hope, you’ll be clearer in choosing one — listen better.   Ah, well.  Sometime.   You forge forward.

And you do get yourself to California.  With great pleasure and anticipation you take a deep breath and contemplate your new world.  And as you settle in you consider looking for a partner to play with, work with and to co-create this — your next, California future with.

And you do…

*The above is a parable told by a Mother to her young teen-aged Daughter during their discussions about relationships, futures, etc.   What do you think?  Leave a comment!

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