Relationships Are Roads

Relationships Are Roads

Each relationship is a long and winding road (that leads to your door).
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Roads are long and winding, seemingly unending. Roads can lead anywhere - home, school, work, the Grand Canyon, your cousins’ lake house, senior prom, the middle of a desert, or what feels like nowhere at all. City roads are often constructed of smooth black asphalt. We drive upon those asphalt streets, and over time, potholes and other deformities deteriorate the surfaces on which we travel. Without proper care, asphalt roads become impassible.

Dirt roads are less frequented than the asphalt of cities; nevertheless, these roads are integral to reaching destinations. Thickening and hardening in the sun after a rainstorm, dirt roads are perfect for four-wheel drive. These roads lack the uniformity and predictability of asphalt and practically call upon the human sense of adventure. Without dirt roads, it would be impossible to arrive at new and unknown havens. The deterioration of dirt roads only makes them more accessible. They are destroyed when they are no longer in use, and as grass and trees distort the trails, dirt paths become indiscernible from their environments. Without repair or restoration, roads are reduced to wreckage.

Love and loss wear down roads, crumbling the pavement as they alter the soul. The relationships among family members, the marriage between spouses, the bond joining friends: the people you encounter throughout life pave paths. Childhood best friends lie down an asphalt road. Memories of chalk drawings on bright summer days are pavements not easily broken. Occasionally a crack will develop in the concrete, but a simple phone call restores the road to what it once was.

A dirt road, the wind in the surrounding trees sounding like a swift intake of breath, is the love of a star-crossed couple. Encompassed by a scenery more beautiful than any photograph could ever hope to capture, the gravel path is clear of underbrush. The ride upon the previously unexplored road is jarring. All is new. All is blossoming. The devotion of two who have become one is stronger than no other. The excitement, the spontaneity, and the spark are listed on no map. The road is known to no one else. Atlases don’t proclaim their story. Their bond is a path that the two have created, and they themselves will cut back the branches that threaten to obstruct their way.

Other relationships are pathways torn down without warning, annihilated in mere seconds. All is well, if only seemingly so. Then, a sudden blow. A phone call. The path that was once clear and full of possibility has disappeared from sight. A jackhammer to the asphalt. The words spoken on the other line rip through everything you’ve ever known; the person you were supposed to spend forever with is gone with no hope of return. No other soul can repave this road. No other life can restore the rubbish this world has become.

A relationship is a correlation, a point upon a map. Ex-lovers, ex-spouses, and ex-memories are kinds of pathways that lead you to your destination. The asphalt of those who have left you behind is abandoned as it crumbles into nothingness. The dirt road of your childhood, veiled by overgrown trees and fallen leaves, is forgotten, but life’s odyssey is complex. Detours appear along the way, found in the boyfriend named Regret, the best friend who betrayed you with a kiss, the brother that didn’t believe in the person you chose to be. Each road constructs you as a person. Each road creates a route necessary to reach your final destination. Though you sometimes stray, the roads go on.

Relationships are roads. Each portrays interconnectedness, the formation of the puzzle of human life. Trodden upon, beaten down, newly tarred, or cartographically nonexistent, relationships carve the pathway of humanity's journey.
Cover Image Credit: tumblr.com

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What Rescuing a Dog Taught Me About My Future

She was a real pain to begin with, but I wouldn't give her up for the world now.

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My first dog came from a breeder to us when he was just a puppy. I was in third grade so we were both young together. I remember stepping off of the bus and seeing him curled up in my mom's arms. His breed, a Cavalier King Charles, is a highly sought after dog for their small size and beautiful markings. However, dog breeding can lead to medical complications down the line. Heart murmurs are very frequent as cavaliers get older. When he turned 9 years old, they were already detecting the beginning of a heart murmur in him. But my second dog didn't come to us in quite the same way.

Willow was about a year old. She was rescued from an abusive home where she had to fight for her food from many other dogs. This made her guard resources and distrustful of us. My mom and I begged the rest of our family for the ability to adopt her, and they finally agreed. Being not potty trained, we had to teach her with a lot of positive encouragement when she went pee in the right place (not our carpet). It took her a while to realize that we weren't going to take her food away and she gradually became less resource guarding. She started to trust my other dog more and play with him. A lot of the time, they even snuggle together now.

At the time, I was in my junior year of high school and still thinking about the idea of becoming a veterinarian. She helped me decide to go for it, and now I'm in college and getting ready to apply for veterinary school. Willow has become part of our family, and her funny and unique personality fit right in with us.

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