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The Weary Traveler

Updated on February 27, 2017

Happiness is a choice; we choose whether we see everyday as a miracle or a struggle. Our minds have the power to change a situation and make it into a lesson lived and learned, or we decide to make it a thorn in our side, forever giving us pain and discomfort.

For the most part, I agree. Life is full of decisions that change our being to either one of character and compassion or excuses. However for some situations there is no choice to be made. No decision that is left in our hands. Our control is placed in someone else’s and they don’t always make the best decisions.

Anyone can come back from a hardship. It is a single glitch in their lifetime. An event that may have even knocked them sideways, but most can realign their arrows; pick themselves up and dust off the grief, disappointment and frustration. They chose to be positive, and use it as a lesson lived and learned.

When they got knocked down however, they may have lost something in the kicked up dirt around them. Something small and minute, but something nonetheless. When they stand back up they know something is missing, but it’s as little as a paper clip so it won’t deter them from their future aspirations.

Then there are the hardships that aren’t finished after one trip. Some get kicked down, to stand up, to get kicked down again, to stand up, to then be shoved to the ground. Face pushed into the dirt, pockets emptied and scrapes and bruises left as souvenirs.

As they try to keep moving forward and stay positive; someone or something decides to push them down again. At certain points down the road, they are just focused about getting out and moving forward, that they start crawling, without any desire to pick up the items that may have fallen. The pain is too great to check the surrounding area for anything left behind; it is forgotten in the dirt. They move forward, hoping that tomorrow is better. They hope that they will soon travel in a less dangerous area.

It is during those times, when it is difficult to stay positive. The journey may last years. As soon as it seems like the road is less shaky and the area appears harmless; someone out of nowhere kicks you to your knees again.

After being hit down so often, all you want to do is stand back up. Move one more step forward; the hope of tomorrow becomes your battle cry and anthem. You firmly believe that the laws of positivity declare that you can choose to be happy or sad.

And when it is finally safe, the road is paved, marked and surrounded by beauty; only then do you realize what you left behind. Only then do you look back, into the dark wooded and tumultuous path that you just came off of, you then comprehend what you would have to go through in order to get those things back that you dropped along the way.

That is when you really make a choice, to return to the dangerous part of the road in order to pick up your mess, or to continue moving forward and hoping that what you dropped won’t be needed sometime later down the road.

People don’t become roughened, closed, and angry from one event. It’s those travelers that have been through more than one rough patch, those who have tried to move forward even when everything else was knocking them down.

© 2017 Elise Reed

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    • Namelessintheeast profile image

      Nameless in the east 2 months ago from USA

      Good day Elise,

      Your first piece sets the stage and direction for some of your later works and is very poignant and sincere.

      A suggestion: In this poem you drift back and forth between the third, second and first person. Using “They” vs. “Us” can be used as a “hedge”, a way to insulate the author from the reader. Your writing is strong and it seems clear that the weighty issues being discussed you yourself have experienced. Therefore you might consider taking a risk, tightening this piece up, and referring to the first-person pronouns.

      For example:“Anyone can come back from a hardship. It is a single glitch in their lifetime. An event that may have even knocked them sideways, but most can realign their arrows; pick themselves up and dust off the grief, disappointment and frustration. They chose to be positive, and use it as a lesson lived and learned.”=” Anyone can come back from an isolated hardship. Any event may knock us this way or that. Most of us can realign our arrows, pick ourselves up, dust off the grief, disappointment and frustration. One can chose to be positive and view hardships as lessons lived and learned.”

      “As they try to keep moving forward and stay positive; someone or something decides to push them down again. At certain points down the road, they are just focused about getting out and moving forward, that they start crawling, without any desire to pick up the items that may have fallen. The pain is too great to check the surrounding area for anything left behind; it is forgotten in the dirt. They move forward, hoping that tomorrow is better. They hope that they will soon travel in a less dangerous area.”=” As we try to keep moving forward and stay positive, someone or something decides to push us down again. At a certain point along the road, we focus only on getting out and moving on. The pain, too great, we neglect to check the surrounding area for anything left behind. We move forward, crawling without desire or remorse, leave behind the items which have fallen: They are forgotten in the dirt. Our minds eye, turned towards a vision of a safer place. We hope only that tomorrow will be better.”

      Also, feel free to use additional tools at your disposal such as italics or quotes to emphasize and add gravity to certain passages.

      For example:“After being hit down so often, all you want to do is stand back up. Move one more step forward; the hope of tomorrow becomes your battle cry and anthem. You firmly believe that the laws of positivity declare that you can choose to be happy or sad.”=”After being hit, pushed down so often, all you want to do is stand back up, move one more step forward, then another, and then, another... The laws of positivity declare “you who can choose to be happy or sad”; this becomes your battle cry and anthem.”

      The last three passages are very tight, heartfelt and clearly speak from personal experience. Leave them as they are Elise, they are perfect!

      Finally, I like the way this poem ends-Inconclusively or should I say, ambivalently. I can’t help but ask myself the question, “How will it end?”

      I hope you find the time to continue writing: Where you are right now will provide experiences that will change you and allow you to continue growing. Writing is my way of solidifying my own reflections on life. Perhaps it is the same way for you? I also hope you continue writing posts/hubs on a regular basis so your readers can know that you are safe and well. Remember, most of us do not know what your present circumstances are. All we know is that you are probably doing a difficult job in a very dangerous part of the world.

      Please, take care Elise!

      Yours sincerely, No Name

      P.S. As an aside, reading good (popular) literature (e.g. classic British mysteries, American Sci-fi, etc.) will give you exposure and a feel for good writing. You also might start thinking about rhythm and tempo in your writing. We’ll leave that for next time……….

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      No name 5 months ago

      When something precious has been left behind, build a good fire and keep it going …. it may find you!