“You can’t get there from here”
…is the punch line to one of my Grandfather’s favorite stories from his younger days. As I am trying to retell it, I really can’t remember where he was when he found out he couldn’t get where he wanted to go. All I know is that while looking for a particular destination, he came across a seemingly local person to which he kindly asked, “do you know the whereabouts of this place?” and after a short pause for consideration, his naïve guide answered “yes, but you can’t get there from here.”
Now, this is a classic Grandbuddy story. He gets such a kick out of telling it. Every time. As he tells us what the young man said, he laughs and laughs, literally slapping his knee. And while it may seem like he’s just sharing a fun story from his youth (which he was totally doing), he’s also planting a very strong seed in our minds: there is always a way.
What a silly concept, that there would be no way to get there from here! That is absolutely preposterous. Of course there is a way! Perhaps you don’t know it because you haven’t traveled that road yet, but there is always a way. Let us laugh in the face of someone who tells us we can’t get there. What a funny guy, but we know better. We will find a way!
Even more so now, I am learning from this wise anecdote. Today, as a teacher and creative problem solver, the mindset is all too common in our world: I can’t get there from here.
It is sad, but many of us have convinced ourselves that this is true. We’ve shut the door on ideas like roadmaps, bridges, boats, planes, trains, and automobiles. We’ve conceded to this place and this outcome. We are a product of that mindset, and stuck in all ways because of it. Insert my Grandbuddy:
He is here to remind you that there is always another route, even if it seems like it’s a pretty big detour. Take this re direction as a chance to strengthen your legs to be adequately prepared to reach that next destination.
Just to be clear…we obviously aren’t just talking about travel here. This is a metaphor. For basically any situation you’re feeling stuck… At work, home, projects, relationships, and even a yoga practice! I’ve heard so many people say the reason they “can’t” try yoga is because they can’t touch their toes. What kind of logic is this: Since I can’t do it (or this one tiny aspect of what I think it is) yet, I shouldn’t try at all? It is the logic that says: I can’t get there from here. How many times have you told yourself you couldn’t get there?
But to get there from here, we need to know where we are . How can we develop a route if we don’t have a starting point? So look around you and orient yourself:
Who am I today?
What am I capable of?
What do I know to be true?
How can I leverage my skills within my current situation?
This work is how we start to understand that a roadblock is not a dead end, it’s just a detour that invites the possibility to shift. This possibility unlocks your new route, but to get there it is up to us to keep the focus and the faith. Faith that can move mountains, from here to there. Be the mountain. Simply surrender, work hard, and let the way show you how to get there from here.
Speaking of detours…we discuss this topic on the new podcast: Write Here, Right Now (specifically episode 29: The Art of Redirection). In the podcast, my friend KT & I play with a creative writing exercise to help us go with the flow and make space for possibility. You’re invited to play along! Is there a possibility you would…listen to the podcast!? Click here!
Please feel free to email me with input or questions towards this discussion. You could also share your comment below… maybe you’ll inspire a fellow reader. Speaking of readers, thank you for being one. It is a fantastic and fortunate habit to have.
For more reading on moving forward, check out this post. Have a beautiful day!