I love maps. They’re informational and inspiring and easy to get the hang of. If you use them correctly you can get anywhere you want in this world, and if you use them incorrectly you might just find the adventure you’ve been waiting for. After all, sometimes mistakes are just blessings in disguise.
When I was in eighth grade I had this history teacher, Mr. Hamann, who would give us map tests. These tests served many different purposes, as he pointed out to us at the beginning of the school year. Of course, they were a part of the curriculum, and they did teach us good study habits and test-preparation skills, but these map tests meant so much more than that.
Mr. Hamann told us that when he was a boy, his father would take his family on road trips where the children would sit in the front seat of the car with a map in their hands and he would ask them, “where do you want to go?”
And they got to decide.
If they could navigate to their destination of choice, that’s where they got to go. Ever since then, maps became so much more magical to me; just living off the belief that if I know how to get there, I can go anywhere in this world.
And I’m not talking about money. I know that I can’t just hop around the world, going from place to place, living different lives in New York City and Paris and London. I know that my money would eventually run out (very soon, actually), and I’d be stuck in Ohio for many years to come, but there’s this idea that keeps me hanging on.
If I research it and spend my money wisely and really know where I’m going and what I want to do when I get there and what experiences I need to have before forcing myself to come back home, I could go to Thailand or Luxembourg or Jamaica and really see the world. I could really go anywhere if I wanted to, I just couldn’t go everywhere. Not financially, really. Not yet.
But it’s more than that. Sure, maps show you the big picture and help you navigate across the globe and help you gain a truer perspective of your surroundings, but you can also zoom in. Maps can show you the hidden gems that are in spitting distance! And they can show you how to get there.
And, as the saying goes, it’s not always about the destination. It’s about the journey.
So I love maps. They’re instruction guides just as much as they are reminders of what’s out there and what’s around us. And I’m looking forward to hanging one right above my bed in my college dorm, against my roommates request (sorry Jaden), to inspire me every day. One look will remind me what’s out there and will motivate me to do what I need to do to get there.
And I will get there. One day. I’ll get out of this place and I’ll see the world. Until then, I leave you with this quote (if you know where it came from please let me know!!) that perfectly sums up all of my feelings about this subject.
“Please understand, I have been waiting to leave ever since I figured out there were roads willing to take me anywhere I wanted to go.”
PS. Maps by The Front Bottoms is my current obsession in the music realm and obviously relates to what I’ve been trying to say for the past twenty minutes.