The Hero’s Journey is mostly boring. There are moments of real drama, life-changing decisions, or trauma. But mostly the Hero’s Journey is made up of slogging away for weeks, months, or years to reach your goal. The movies and stories that use the Hero’s Journey plot smoosh those boring times down to a misleading bit of seconds to emphasize the drama.
You cannot have missed the recent picture of Maria Meza, the mother pulling her children away from tear gas at the U.S./Mexico border. I know she is on a Hero’s Journey. I know, too, that she would give nearly anything (Well, she has, right?) to have no drama right now: to have week upon week of getting her kids off to school and making dinner and weeding the vegetable garden.
I know she’s done more than her share of slogging, too. It’s over 2,000 miles from Central America to the U.S. border. Mostly walked. With children in tow. Would you do that? Could you do that? I have driven from Wisconsin to Arizona a few times and passed through Nebraska where they have a monument to the “pioneers” who migrated from to the western United States. Every time I pass through there, I think, “How bad must it have been back there, to decide that a walk from Illinois to Oregon has got to take me somewhere better?”
I have never been tear-gassed. I don’t want to be. Ever. I get a piece of fuzz under my contact lens and I whine until it clears (Yes, this is a RWGP.). I have never walked even a fraction of Meza’s 2,000 miles. I am beyond grateful I have never had her problems.
Meza’s story reminds me to keep my perspective during the slogging times on my own Hero’s Journey. Type another page. Make one more phone call. Craft one more email. Find a mentor. Be a mentor. Be generous. Be kind. “You can do it.”
*“Months of boredom punctuated by moments of extreme terror.” Source.