“It is not about the destination, it is about the journey”
– A million people who think they’re smart
The aforementioned quote originated with someone, or maybe simultaneously across different cultures. I’m not going to bother looking up the origins of the quote, because we’ve all heard it countless times, it is almost cliché- if it weren’t true most of the time for most people.
I’m not most people, as you can probably tell by now. I’m not more special, and I don’t anticipate this site providing any sort of life advice to anyone. But this concept of life situations being about the journey and not the destination runs is absolutely and completely wrong in my mind. For me. For my mind, and for my experience in life.
I’ll get into the subject of hyper-awareness and its very distinctive definition for those with OCD in more detail in another article, but the summary is people like me cannot see, hear, or sense a whole. We can only see parts. And we focus on them intensely.
I’m a human being, so I go on journeys of all sorts (physical or ethereal) with destinations at the end. “Destinations” in plural because the future holds multiple possibilities1 for all journeys. But for me, the journey is overflowing with stimulus to the point where even thinking about it fills my mind beyond capacity. The journey has risks, the journey is messy, the journey is beyond my control.
Within the journey you’re supposed to smells the figurative roses and such clichés. I don’t, I notice everything wrong about said roses and they do nothing to help me. And as someone with OCD, who’s mind is working against him at all points- my omnipresent goal is always help. Things that will make me safe and comfortable. Because the sheer majority of the world does not.
Enter the destination. The end. Endings are always good in my mind, because whittling them down to their dictionary definition- they end confusion, fear, and the unknown. A destination is a known thing once you reach it.
And I don’t do destinations randomly. I enter any journey with the destination I need in mind. In my mind a future destination is a solid and tangible thing well before the journey starts. I do not pretend that I can predict the future, but I can tell you I know exactly what I need it to be like. And I will focus on that destination with zero regard to what it takes to get there. (This is where some of us with OCD come off as sociopathic2 and other such misunderstood characterizations.)
As an example, this is why I have primarily worked alone in my career. I’ve managed plenty of people, but my work itself has always been done alone. Those I’ve managed are doing other things than I am. I manage them fine, as I can ignore the mess that goes behind the scenes by hiring the right people so I don’t have to micromanage them. Otherwise, if I do, it is no fun for anyone involved.
But my work, when done best- it is segmented off for me to handle from start to finish. Why? Because I need to get it done at lightning speed, lest the details overwhelm me and I become paralyzed. And I set up a work space to do just that- get things done fast.
Don’t get me wrong- I only cut corners when I absolutely need to. I have OCD, I can plan out systems of organization like no one else can. I can do things right. But the modules of work I take on cannot involve others, or it will be a mess. A mess only in my mind? I am not sure- I just know it will be a mess. But working alone, a complete and perfect-in-my-mind piece of work is produced. Because I had that piece of work’s completed form in my mind the whole time.
In all life’s endeavors, I have the journey mapped out with a fine-tipped marker on the map, with no straying from that line. And I know the destination, and I wish to be there immediately. I suffer the journey, and I breathe a sigh of relief when I reach the destination.
I strive always to close the current chapter of the book of my life. I will do this behind the scenes without involving others, or I will do it through brute force. Because only in closing the chapter does the chapter have a nice, clean meaning. And fuck, do I need more meaning.
1 Which I detest with the deepest abhorrence!
2 We’re not, we care a lot about people. We just care foremost about getting things straight in our head.