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The journey is the destination

The biography of my early childhood was written in T-shirts touting my accomplishments. The white ringer tee with the calculator on the front was from the time I competed in Mathletes. The pink shirt with the panda bear was from the time I sold over 200 Girl Scout cookies to frat boys. The dark blue Floyd’s Fork Farm long-sleeved tee was from the high school camping trip where half the class got drunk and smoked pot and we got the trip banned for the next four years. My brother had gotten one of those shirts two years earlier and it confused me because I thought forks came from Bed, Bath and Beyond and not from a farm. I was gently informed that it referred to a farm near a fork in Floyd’s river.

When I was scavenging the Goodwill racks earlier this week, I found a shirt from someone else’s biography. It was a brown tee from the French Broad River Rafting Expeditions. I’ve never been rafting, nor did I know where the French Broad River was until I googled it. (North Carolina.) I thought it would be fun to buy the shirt because it would be about as close to stealing someone’s identity as I could get without using their social security number and credit cards to buy clothes at a store that didn’t sell used shoes.

I imagined wearing the shirt around town until I eventually ran into someone who had actually been rafting on this expedition. Then I could chat with them about our rafting adventures and how fun it was. If they ever noticed any discrepancies in my bullshit story I would quickly mention the accident where I bashed my heads on some rocks in the rapids and how my memory had never quite been the same since.

However, the selling point that closed the deal on purchasing someone’s old shirt was the message on the back:

The journey is the destination

Ani DiFranco sang about finding religion in the greeting card aisle, but I found philosophical wisdom in the used T-shirt racks. This phrase could easily be interpreted as nonsense since any dictionary would tell you the journey is the journey and the destination is the destination. They aren’t cross-referenced in any thesaurus. But it sums up my philosophy towards weight loss right now.

It’s easy to focus only on getting to a certain goal weight and reaching the end of this weight loss journey. It sounds like the place you want to be, and I do hope I someday get to see the scenery from that vista. But when I think about where I really want to be, it’s experiencing the process that will get me to my goal. It’s eating healthy and exercising and generally feeling good about myself. Those behaviors will hopefully carry me down the river to my goal, but it’s the ride itself that is the best part, not the end of the trip.

Also, the T-shirt was a small and it fit. Tightly, but it fit. Sold!


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Alicia • March 30, 2007 at 10:51 am

Excellent T-shirt! Size small too way to go! I love your story about the ‘Fork’ farm. Thanks for sharin’ :-)


Debra • March 30, 2007 at 11:01 am

Excellent story, and what a fantastic find. I am reminded of the time when I found a sweatshirt that said “Palm Springs Yacht Club.” For those who may not get the joke right away, Palm Springs is in the desert. Anyway, that shirt caused more fantastic conversations than anything I’ve worn before or since, reminding me that humor is the great equalizer among humans. I wore it until it became a dusting rag. Your story reminded me of how much I missed it. Thanks for the memory!


Ty • March 30, 2007 at 11:08 am

It is all about the journey, isn’t it? Unfortunately I grumble about the journey more than I sit back and enjoy the process. This simple statement has given me something to think about!


digsite • March 30, 2007 at 11:26 am

Loved your story. So inspiring. :)


Debbi • March 30, 2007 at 12:18 pm

I once bought a t-shirt for the Paris Air Show at an EAA convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I never did run into anyone else who’d been to the Paris Air Show.

Somehow I knew this post wasn’t going to be about cruising Goodwill for cool shirts, though. Thanks for giving me even more to think about.


Becca • March 30, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Holy crap, I just got teary-eyed from the back of a used t-shirt. Love your blog, thanks for all you share.


Jill • March 30, 2007 at 1:57 pm

I love this blog for lots of reason, only one being that I’m on my own weight loss journey (down 74 yeah!). But I had to comment today. I live in Asheville, North Carolina and the French Broad River runs right through the county. It’s a gorgeous river. Wear the shirt with pride (an Asheville native said so!).


zara • March 30, 2007 at 2:00 pm

Cool shirt! It’d be funny if the shirt was worn by a group of ex-convicts on a team-building rehab rafting trip… ;)


brittany • March 30, 2007 at 2:09 pm

I just sat down the last few days, and read most of your blog, and I will finish later :) I just wanted to leave a comment so you know I’m not some weird stalker.

You are beautiful inside and out (and I’m not just blowing sunshine up your ass) and have truly made me believe I can do this :)



Kala • March 30, 2007 at 4:10 pm

Greetings from the French Broad, another Western North Carolinian here!! Wear it with pride, and know that we are all glad to be a part of your journey!


honi • March 30, 2007 at 4:16 pm

I have that tee too.. and u are right.. it is all about the journey simply because all we are given is the moment we are in..

Have a great weekend


sara • March 30, 2007 at 5:19 pm

I rafted that river on an Outward Bound expedition last summer (45 days camping with no showers), and one of the funniest things that happened on the trip was when we found a double-headed dildo in the French Broad.

On a weightloss standpoint, I lost 10 lbs during those 45 days, and gained so many muscles in my legs from hiking Mt Mitchell. I recommend it to anybody.


Petullant • March 30, 2007 at 9:48 pm

I grew up near the French Broad – trust me it’s awesome. Plus, it sounds saucy especially on a small t-shirt. Meow


Helen • March 30, 2007 at 10:13 pm

Fantastic post…you opened pictures in my mind of my own past…thank you! :-)


Lose Weight With Me • March 31, 2007 at 9:10 am

Awesome post. I hope it inspires more of us to enjoy every step of the journey we are on.



Lisa • April 3, 2007 at 2:57 pm

“we found a double-headed dildo in the French Broad.”

Does anyone else find this hysterical? Who is this french broad anyway?

Thanks for sharing! I love your blog!


sweet_talker • April 7, 2007 at 12:19 am

awesome post! i have a junior forest warden’s hoodie that i bought at a thrift store and am frequently asked if i actually am one. sometimes i say yes, sometimes i tell a big rambling story about how i could be one if i wanted, and sometimes i just say no. congrats on buying a small!!


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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