You and Your Heart Have Been Places

By Samantha McKenzie

You and your heart have been places. Through thick and thin, you’ve seen a lot. You may not have always been in agreement, but somehow, you managed to stay together.

You’ve experienced peaks of joy and valleys of pure pain and you lived to tell about it. It’s time to make a map of your heart. Reflect on the memories and decide where else you’d like to go.

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Think about your travels and the many impressions left on your life. Remember the people you have encountered and the impact they’ve made on your journey. Life wouldn’t be the same without them. What about the beautiful landscapes, the winding roads to nowhere in particular, the new adventures that led to newer possibilities? Don’t leave out the beauty of chance, the mysterious strangers and the unscripted. They’re equally important too.

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I made a map of my heart. I traced my footsteps back to my old neighborhood. I remembered the simple joys of jumping double dutch, playing tackle football in the snow and my longtime crush that lived down the street. I couldn’t forget the summer block parties, being in the heart of hip hop’s emergence and trying to keep up with whatever style was rolling in.

I remembered secrets between childhood friends and 4th of July barbecues and running home from church so I could still play outside before the street light came on. I remembered my first kiss, my boyfriend and my first true love.

I touched cities that I temporarily called home and vacationed in countries with silky sand and made it back to the island of my birth. I revisited friends and family and past loves and smiled at the stories made and the memories gathered. I read a lot and studied people and immersed my soul in culture. My heart and I have stuck nicely together.

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Looking back, I remember the bumpy roads that sometimes left me in a ditch. The conflict, the heartache, and some sleepless nights. I recall the detours I took, thinking I could get somewhere faster. I must admit, I’ve been guilty of ignoring the warning signs and disregarding a whole lot of I told you so’s. I’ve had to stop and ask for directions…on many occasions.

Glad to say the good journeys still outweighed the riskier ones. As they often do. 

I pinned a few new places of interest for my heart to uncover. I challenged myself to find greater things to experience.  Make a new map of your heart and make it your life’s mission to get to everywhere you could possibly imagine. And go there. Go.

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