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There is no wagon for you to fall off - this is not the Oregon Trail!

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

If I had a dollar for every time a woman told me she'd fallen off the wagon, I could buy myself… well, probably a wagon! I'm just wondering about this metaphorical wagon, though… is it saying we are in the Oregon Trail?! Let’s have some fun and explore this idea of that darn wagon, which I also discussed in my last episode of "Be Well With Steph, the Podcast"!

Back in the day, my sister and I actually loved the idea of the Oregon Trail so much that we used our imaginations and created a live action version. If you're confused – it's exactly what it sounds like: we would dress up in costumes, load up our wagon with “provisions” like food we made out of pine cones, blankets, small pots… and we would hit the trail! (It shouldn't be a surprise at this point that I wound up in Theater, right…?!)

This phrase "I'm off the wagon" got me to thinking, and I want to break this metaphor down into 2 parts for you.

  1. In life, and on the Oregon Trail, it's not about being on the wagon or off the wagon. As a matter of fact, we're really on this journey with the wagon! Based on everything I know about the Oregon trail (as you can see, it's a lot), most of us aren't even riding in the wagon to begin with. Unless you are the driver, extremely old, or you contracted dysentery at your last stop for water, you are most likely walking alongside the wagon. Sure, riding in the wagon would be faster, but that's not really practical seeing how you're bringing along all your stuff too. You are walking the trail. And this is a slow go. You first have to accept that this journey is going to be a slow go. The types of sustainable habit changes that we talk about around here are not quick. It can feel like it takes forever to get where you want to go! Walking on the trail toward our destination, in a slow but steady and methodical way, is probably how we're going to spend most of our time.

  2. Your journey will have obstacles! It doesn't mean you've "fallen off the wagon". This trail we're walking along isn't always easy. In the game, you may have to stop to look or hunt for new resources. You might have to do that in your health journey, too. You might hit a creek that was too big or too scary to cross safely! Life seems to have a lot of those, doesn't it? You might slow down. You might get sick. You might have to re route. You might have to ditch some of the stuff in the wagon because your Oxen are getting tired. Heck, you might have to eat those oxen and finish the rest of your journey on foot anyway!

But you are going to get there! You didn't come this far and endure so much just so you could get stuck in those snowy mountains, or turn around and go all the way back to Massachusetts, now did you?

You decided this mission was important. You made major life changes. You made a commitment. You set out to better yourself, and better your life, and create the life that you want to have. And I'm not even sure if I'm talking about your actual life or your Oregon life at this point, but it doesn't matter - You can do hard things.

I don't care if you are driving the wagon, or walking alongside it, or riding in the back, or running behind to catch up, or off wandering in the woods looking for mushrooms, or falling into the river and swimming for the shore… You are still on your way.

And don't you forget it. Don't you forget why you started along the trail, or how far you have already come, or how strong and smart and capable you are!

And if you want a guide and friend for the journey, the journey, you know where to find me. There is nothing I want more than to take that journey with you.


Prefer to listen to this topic? You can, here!

(I elaborate a lot more on some of these important, ideas, too.)

What did you think about this comparison? I'd love to know! Did it resonate with you, or make you think of any metaphors in your life that you'd like to share? Leave something for me in the comments! ♡


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If you have any thoughts on this Oregon Trail/wagon metaphor, I’d love to hear them! Drop me a comment here or on instagram and let me know!


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