I am just a pilgrim on this road, boys
This ain't never been my home
Sometimes the road was rocky long the way, boys
But I was never travelin' alone -Steve Earle
Happy Holidays! Excited to see those you love and celebrate a great year? Or are you ready for your turkey with a side of strife and lethargy?
Yesterday, I was drowning in work and home stuff. I crawled into bed and fell asleep like the dead then woke up prepared to rinse and repeat. I got into my truck to drop the small unit off at her place of academic improvement and heard Steve Earle’s “Pilgrim” on the radio. It made me stop a second and really reflect on what I was thankful for and I wanted to share my thoughts with you, dear reader, in this week leading up to what COULD be a stressful time for a lot of us.
First, I never truly felt at home until I was accepted into the Special Forces Regiment. My family is lovely and supportive, I am blessed. I just hadn’t ever felt like I belonged somewhere. That is to say: I found a group of fellow wanderers and we just synced. While it was a sense of belonging, I have come to realize that the Teams are no more my home than any other place I have spent time on my journey. No organization is home, no achievement equals happiness, and no monetary gain is truly satisfying to our souls.
Steve Earle’s words made me look back and realize that at no point in my journey was I alone, and furthermore that none of us are truly alone. We just may not recognize the support we have around us.
People expect guys like us to be strong and push through uncertainty with a sense that we know what’s happening, but as I get older I realize that most of us don’t have a clue. Some of us are just a lot better at faking it until we make it and keeping cool on the outside. That realization has encouraged me greatly as I strive to grow and improve.
When the Pilgrims sat down to celebrate their first Fall harvest in October of 1621, they were commemorating something a lot more complex and meaningful than their ability to sate their hunger in an inhospitable world. They had arrived woefully unprepared to their new homes and they were truly alone and floundering, even surrounded by their friends and family. They forged a bond with locals and accepted the instruction of a people they shared nothing in common with and likely feared. In the end, it helped them thrive.
Whether we recognize it or not, there are people to our left and right as we push through the darkness and I encourage you to call out and find them, identify them and lean on them for a season. Then be that person for someone else.
I am thankful for every mile I have walked with every one of you who has been there for me and I am thankful for the ability to have walked miles with those who I didn’t even know I was supporting. While the road may be rocky, the vistas are incredible and the company is without equal.
This holiday season, embrace the journey and remember, as Mr. Earle said, “We'll meet again on some bright highway; Songs to sing and tales to tell.”