The Long Road

Michael Atkins
5 min readJun 8, 2021

“The road to success is always under construction.” Steve Maraboli

Imagine you are on the verge of seeing your true purpose, but it will only become clear to you after you have walked down a road with which you are not familiar yet. Many others have walked this road, but they have all encountered different obstacles along the way. Obstacles very different from what you might face as you take your solitary walk.

The long road welcomes all kinds of people: the dreamer, the thinker, the doer, and even the pragmatist. You may stay on this road, or you may venture off course once in a while. No one will mind because they are too busy walking down their own chosen path.

As you go down this road, you have to be ready to walk, saunter, hop, or crawl to reach your destination. The exciting thing about this road is that you will only know you’ve made it to the end when you’re already there. While you’re on the road, there’s no finish line in sight.

A few years ago, I read a story about a guitar player walking down a dirt road late at night. The guitar player only had 30 dollars in his pocket when he came to a nearby town. While in this sleepy town, he played in a bar for two nights and earned himself 50 dollars. With his earnings, he planned to catch a bus to the big city, where he could perform at his friend’s bar. It was the next step and evolution for him on his journey. He wanted to play where he belonged and where his kind of music was appreciated. In the little towns, he always felt like an outcast. The guitar player knew in his gut that there was something more out there.

On the night he was ready to leave town, he stopped by a convenience store and was robbed. Every dollar he had was stolen from him. The bus driver didn’t believe a single word of his story, and the guitar player was left standing on the side of the road, defeated. What started as a hopeful trip became a long, painful walk along a long, painful road. All he wanted to do was just play music. It was as simple as that.

So, the guitar player walked that night in the cold and slept the entire morning under the warm sun. He talked to people about his dreams, hitchhiked, and did everything he could to move forward. He refused to be stuck in any one place because he wanted more than anything to get to the big city.

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Michael Atkins

Technologist and life-long language learner. Speaks fluent Japanese and Indonesian among other languages. Inspiring the world through love of language learning