I’ve mentioned it before, but one of my favorite lines in any Lord of the Rings film adaption is “Just to get there” said by Frodo in the animated version of The Fellowship.
He says this with exasperation. Every burden seems to be resting on his shoulders and, in a way, they are. He has the ring which is gradually growing heavier with each passing day. It’s draining him to the point where he questions if he can even take another step forward. In moments of silence, he’s dreaming about getting to his destination. He wants to achieve the goal he set out for himself and go home to enjoy some peace and a happy life. No wonder he wants to “just get there.”
In a way we all have our “ring.” We have these anxieties, fears, and doubt. We want to do well in our lives, to find peace. We want to carry out our dreams no matter how difficult and exhausting they may be. And the further we move towards those the goals, the heavier those anxieties become. What a relief it would be to throw them into a pit of fire and enjoy our own accomplishments, but the path is long and not always a fun little adventure filled with wonder.
I’m constantly thinking about getting there. I’m a daydreamer so I often think about my future home, city, career, where I’ll spend my summers. All I want is “just to get there” because this “adventure” feels incredibly long and sadly I’m still within the first book within the first half. How can this ring feel so heavy already?
For me, it’s most likely because I expect a lot out of myself and I can’t always live up to those expectations. I’m always assuming that I should be further along in my life when honestly I’m doing just fine. I’m exactly where I need to be at this point. Yes, I want to throw away the anxiety, complete my task, and spend the rest of my time peacefully hanging out in my own “Shire” enjoying the life I’ve built for myself, but, that would be a boring story.
Sometimes I look back on the accomplishments I have made and they all seem so easy in retrospect. All I had to do was go here and do this and get that and convince myself of this and walk over here and be here and exactly this time and so forth. It all seems so simple, but at the time I only want to skip ahead to the good/exciting parts.
The sad thing is, I know that eventually I will get there and I’ll look back and laugh at how foolish I was. How stressed I made myself over the stupidest things.
Maybe instead of worrying about “getting there” I should take the ring off every now and then. Set down the burdens and the doubt and the anxiety and find contentment in what’s happening in the present because “there” will always be around. I might not make it there today or tomorrow or even a year from now, but it won’t ever leave. Everyday I get closer to those goals so why not enjoy those days instead of rushing through out of impatience?