Beautiful Destinations

During one of my last days of 8th grade, the teacher had us each make posters with a quote on them that we “truly loved.”  We drew them out on computer paper, used Crayola markers and wrote our names on the back, it was a true childhood art project. We turned them in, and I didn’t think about it again.

Flash forward to the other night at dinner where my sister tells me that she was walking back from lunch and in the middle of the hallway found a paper with my name on it in giant pink lettering. She picks it up and it’s a badly doodled picture of a car driving into the sunset, with even worse handwriting that reads, “Difficult roads, lead to beautiful destinations.” It still has tape on the back so she turns to the nearest wall and sticks it back up there. She laughs while the telling the story, and my mom points out how weird it was that out of every single middle schooler in that building and every other person who made a poster my 8th grade year, that she was the one who happened to find mine.

And yes, that is very hard to believe. I’ve always been kind of superstitious, but I feel like any person would’ve wanted to knock on wood or something after hearing that. The weirdest part of it all was that somehow that poster stuck around until my own sister was in 8th grade. It hung up on that wall for 3 years and decided that on that day it was finally ready to fall down. I’m going to get super duper deep here and ask why? Was it because the universe decided that I needed a reminder that difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations? Because I mean boy, do I believe it. If I look back on the last couple of months and then look at where I’m at now, it’s hard to even recognize myself and half the people around me. It’s bizarre how things can change, but it’s even more bizarre how quickly they change.

I made that poster when I was in 8th grade, 14 years old, not at all ready for high school, and still kind of chubby in the cheeks. It feels like yesterday where I was still not totally comfortable with myself and had an obsession with One Direction (although let’s be real some thing don’t die, so Harry Styles if you’re reading this…) But nope that wasn’t yesterday, it was three years ago, THREE YEARS AGO!!!

I just turned 17 and I have no idea how. It’s crazy because I look at all the things I never even thought about having to do and realized that somewhere along the way I figured out how to do them. I woke up one day and suddenly knew how to drive and how to pump gas. There was a point somewhere along the line, where I was sitting in a restaurant with my dad’s borrowed credit card and had to google how to pay with it. I stumbled through walking with heels on, and I realized that if I went for a run every now and then, I would lose the chubby cheeks. The girl who was definitely not ready for high school, somehow made it to Junior year and is still kicking.

So I’m not completely sure what it was about the quote way back then that made me “truly love it.” It’s most likely because it was the first one to pop up when I put “quotes” into the computer. But maybe, just maybe, there was something in the universe that day that knew in about three years there was going to be a stressful Monday where I could use a reminder to stop and appreciate the life I had and the people around me. So go ahead and bring on any more difficult roads, I have no idea what I’m doing (however that’s never really stopped me before), but if all my destinations are as beautiful as this one, I’m willing to take my chances.

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Ainsley Allen

Ainsley is a teenage girl who currently lives with her family in Olmsted Falls, Ohio. Ainsley loves big cities, pretty sunsets and cute dogs. She fills her time by dancing, reading good books and singing in the shower.
Ainsley hopes to pursue a career in journalism and write for a women's magazine. Until then however, she is just working on making it through high school.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Evey road leads you someplace. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s horrible. I would like to think there are even a few roundabouts that lead you right back to where you were and let you start again. Great post – and great journey:)

    • Ainsley I have always believed that we are strengthened as life goes on, by the difficult roads we travel. This blog is beautifully written and very insightful.
      You are my 🌟

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