Sometimes it’s a lot easier to just turn back. To see no sign of shore and to know the safest thing is to just turn back toward steady ground.
            It’s safer in numbers.
            It’s easier on dry land.
            But there’s something about you that others don’t get. They think they know but they don’t really, truly get it. They like watching and wondering and talking and critiquing. But they never get in the boat because they’re too afraid. They’ll simply watch and wonder while you go on your merry little way.
            It’s a long way to the other side.
            The sun above you might beat down. The journey might be absolutely and positively pointless. But something inside you needs to drift out and drive toward that other beach. You see the destination but also know you might not get there. The sky above might suddenly turn purple and the clear space might fill with puffy clouds.
            A hundred different things might happen while you’re in this boat.
            But you paddle and keep paddling and you wipe the sweat from your brow.
            You might discover some hidden treasure in this deep, dark lake.
            You might encounter someone you can pull up out of the water to come alongside of you for a while.
            Or maybe, a big giant whale might swallow you whole and turn into a modern-day Jonah.
            Nobody said it’d be easy and nobody told you to get inside this canoe.
            Nobody made you start paddling and nobody urged you to try and make it to the other shore.
            In fact, sometimes, on some days, you’re in this narrow, cramped boat wondering what in the world you’re doing. But you only wonder for a little while. Because every single time you put your oar into the water, you feel alive. Every time you begin to propel the boat ahead, you feel a purpose. It’s work and it’s a struggle and so many don’t get it, but you know this is the thing you’re supposed to do.
            The sun or the storms can beat against your brow.
            The strangers can stare without reaction without emotion without any single thing.
            The shore in the distance can seem so far away.
            Yet you keep paddling, and you keep hoping, and you keep believing there is a reason you were meant to be here. Right here. Right here in this boat doing the same thing over and over and over again.
            Yeah. It’s a good place to be.
            A place they’ll never understand. 

(I wrote this blog after being encouraged to check out this blog post here. What I loved is that it says to not think but just write, and that's exactly what I did. That's what I've been doing for the past 25 years! Thanks, Rebecca Dickson for your great suggestion!)