The Scenic Route (Ch.1)

We often forget that most of life gets figured out just by living through it, writes Josh Whelan.

DESSERT // BY JOSH WHELAN

Following the Footsteps

I left home ten years ago in pursuit of all the grand and glorious potential an eighteen-year-old could dream up. For the last decade, I have been marching at double time, moving hither and yonder, making plans and sprinting towards them, following well-trodden paths, taking detours, getting lost entirely, and found again. This adventure has taken me from the coast of Georgia to the frosty climes of Northern Indiana, through the North Carolina Piedmont and even on a few laps around the concrete jungle of Manhattan. 

At present, I find myself in the cracked corner room of a former cotton plantation in Athens, GA, eagerly awaiting repairs with one hand on the pen. The other continually adjusting its grip on the reins of my life as the horses of Ambition, Legacy, Purpose, Talent, and Calling all fight to take the lead.  

Born and raised in Savannah, GA, I am the proud son of a long line of physicians. Despite an impressive (or impressively delayed) growth spurt at 16, I resolved that trading in the cleats for the stethoscope was the move that would allow me to achieve the life I had long admired in my father, grandfathers, and many of their friends - those genteel intellectuals with the grit to work through the night when necessary and a heart for the community.

Now, I don’t want to appear too noble in this decision because having watched Rudy a few too many times. I held on to my delusional hopes of collegiate athletic prowess for far longer than was reasonable for my frame. Nevertheless, by Christmas of my junior year in high school, I decided to enrol at Notre Dame and eventually return home to complete a century’s worth of Dr Whelans in Savannah.

I find myself in the cracked corner room of a former cotton plantation in Athens, GA, eagerly awaiting repairs with one hand on the pen.

Pictured: Josh Whelan scribbling in his notebook. Austin, TX.

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