whoa. baby.

i can study maps for hours, and sometimes i do.

i love how it’s not just about the destination, but the routes we can take to get there.

there’s never just one way.

and sometimes the rockiest roads are the quickest, and sometimes the safer routes take longer and you have to be patient and enjoy the scenery. sometimes there’s exciting cities to pass through, and sometimes there is nothing but plains for hours. you can make the most amazing memories in places no one has ever heard of and the most anticipated destinations don’t always live up to the hype.

life is like this. life is like a map.

lately, i’ve been trying to map out my life. i want to figure out not just the destination, but what roads to take.

the route just got a little more interesting and much more adventurous for us. a couple of months ago my wife showed me a pregnancy test with a plus sign on it. because i’m pretty smart, i looked at it and said… what does that mean? so baby g is on it’s way and will make a july entry into the world.

so yes. now we have a new map to discover. i’ve imagined this many times before, even tried to create a map, a timeframe, for this type of event. but when it’s real, it seems so different. i’ve realized there isn’t really a map that charters this whole thing.

it’s amazing we even have the ability to create life. it hit me when we saw baby g on the ultrasound, we created this life. with maps, someone else made them, we just follow them. in this case, we created it, now we are responsible. we are in charge of creating a path for this little one.

someone told me the other day to make sure i started buying all the books about having a baby. i just shrugged. i’m sure we will, but at the same time there is something comforting about knowing that this is a new road for us. that we simply don’t know what we don’t know. i’m okay with that.

we get to travel this new road together, for the first time.

maps.

i love maps. i’ve always had a fascination with maps. globes, atlases, new maps and historical ones. i love them all. when i was a kid, i’d lay on my bed with a rand mcnally map book and plan out my life and the adventures i’d have traveling the world. i planned out future road trips and vacations. i circled cities i wanted to move to. when my wife and i moved to chicago, i knew exactly where i wanted to live, after all i had been studying the map of chicago most of my life.

there is just something about maps.

the room i am writing this in is filled with maps and globes and pictures of neighborhoods.

maps create dreams and plans and memories. they create endless possibilities. everyone loves endless possibilities.

maps also create direction. no one likes to feel lost. it’s a scary and lonely feeling. we’ve all had those moments of being lost in a different city and have felt that panic come over us once we realized we had no clue where we were. it’s the worst.

but we feel that way in life a lot don’t we?

i’ve realized over the past few months that i’m not really a “live in the moment” type of person. i’ve been spending a lot of time mapping out my life. i always need a plan. i have this unending need to know what’s next, what i can expect.

except that you cannot plan for life. not really.

 road blocks and speed bumps happen. plans change. jobs change. our ideals change. when we think something will last forever, it ends the next day. that’s just how life works.

i’m never going to stop looking at maps and daydreaming about what could be and i’m good with that. even though i think i need to know what is coming, there is something about the mysterious that is intriguing. i just think i need to change how i look at maps. instead of looking down the road and around the curves, i need to focus on what is right here.

when you are looking down the road, it’s easy to miss what is next to you right now.

there are special moments to be created, lessons to learn from and dreams to be re-born. every day is another opportunity to grow and become closer to who we want to be. we don’t have to stop dreaming. i can’t imagine myself not dreaming and planning for the future.

we just have to remember that today is part of the journey.