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DETOURS OF LIFE

Life can be so frustrating sometimes--plans change and opportunities slip away. None of this is ever expected and can be difficult to accept with grace.

I’ve often found myself getting more upset than I’d like to admit when being forced to take detours on my way to a destination. Whether it be from roadwork, an accident, or human navigation error, any detours that I’ve been forced to take have only made me irritable. But I highly doubt I’m the only one who feels this way--I don’t think any of us like wasting time to go the long way around.

Similarly, life itself has detours just the same. We all go through feelings of being lost, being stuck unmoving in a line of traffic, being mad about having to take the high road. Trust me, I get it. Honestly, sometimes we get so far off the path we had planned for ourselves that we don’t even know where the path is. It can be scary and aggravating. But I would encourage you to try to think about why detours are put into place. They aren’t there to make you late to your kid’s game or to raise your blood pressure, detours are put into place because there’s something ahead that you need to avoid.

Life is no different. We can’t see what’s around the bend or over the hill, and honestly, we should probably be thankful for that! The detours in our life shouldn’t all be written off as an inconvenience, because we don’t know what destruction may have been awaiting us on the path we had planned for ourselves. It can be so very frustrating to feel like we have wasted our time only to be stuck in the same place we were a year ago. But no time is wasted. Sometimes, staying put or taking the long way around is exactly what we need to do to grow. I know that time is precious, and money is hard to come by, but sometimes what we see as having gone to waste simply has a use that we aren’t comfortable with realizing.

So, the next time you’re frustrated with your detours in life, take a new perspective. Maybe you didn’t go into student debt just to change majors twice--maybe you went into student debt to meet lifelong friends. Maybe you didn’t waste your time on a job you hated--you spent your time finding what you truly wanted to do. These detours aren’t always fun, and I won’t say they ever meet the equivalent of the path we desired, but I can promise you they always have a purpose. It’s up to you if you choose to realize it. The next time you find yourself on the road less traveled, take advantage of your new playing field. Look at things from a new angle and embrace the twists and turns. 

Cover: Lauren Brown