“The Alchemist”

Recently, some thoughts swirling around in my head made me look at a journal entry from several years ago. Let me say here that I am not one of those people who writes consistently in a journal; maybe that’s why I was able to find this entry!

This journal entry was written on February 6, 2005 and referred to my having read “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho in November on my way to Annapolis, MD for a family weekend at my nephew’s college. In this entry, I referred to a couple of mind- and heart-opening moments. One was at the beginning of the book when the author said that love can be the impetus for the journey and that those who wish us well want us to be happy and are prepared to accompany us on that journey.

I noted at the time that I had never thought in that way and that I always felt that I had to cut my cloth to suit my romantic relationships. Not sure why I felt that way, given that I am neither a conformist or a wimp, but I did. I was hesitant to go on a ‘journey’ of any kind—whether an actual journey or the internal journey of trying something new—if my (serious) boyfriend at the time wasn’t interested in accompanying me.

I was struck by this all over again as I reread the entry. At the time, I saw that hesitancy as more specific to romantic relationships, but now I realize that it applies to family and friends as well. I would love for my family and friends to come along when I do things like go on safari, but I have to believe that while they might be a little envious, they don’t begrudge me following my dreams, just as I don’t begrudge them the good things in their lives, even if I am occasionally envious. Whether the journey is an actual journey or an internal journey, I like to think that they are accompanying me in their hearts and minds.

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