Be where you are: There is no path

January 20, 2016 LifeThoughts  4 comments

Not only did I used to have big plans for my life, but I used to believe that there was a right way and wrong way to achieve those plans. I used to think that there was a certain path I had to take, and that any deviation from that course was detrimental to reaching my destination successfully. 

I used to believe that there was a path–One True Path to my best, successful life. 

But, the thing is… there is no path

Matrix There is No Spoon_zpsmasduhm0

Life-altering, I know. 

This One True Path (clearly there’s some blatant Christian theology influences here) looked a lot like one linear milestone achievement after the other. No wiggle room. No allowance for detours. 

And yet, despite my belief in and of this One True Path, I found myself following one detour after another. Pausing at places longer than the itinerary called for. Going off in completely different directions. 

And for many years, I felt absolutely disgusted with myself for my supposed digressions. Complete cognitive dissonance. I’d step off onto the unbeaten path out of sheer curiosity, and find myself lost with the Path nowhere in sight. I would enjoy the fresh air and take in the view for all of five seconds before I’d start full-on panicking. Because if I believed in this One True Path, than why the heck was I STEPPING OFF THE FREAKING PATH? 

I would step back onto the Path, only to find myself unhappy and dissatisfied. So I’d step back off again. And without me even realizing it, my belief in the validity of this One True Path business had begun to crumble beneath my feet. 

The further away from the One True Path I got, the more conflicted I felt. But at that point, I was so far removed from the Path, that it didn’t really matter what happened anymore, and I was having lots of fun along the way, so I just did what I wanted to do. 

And then, I found myself in this place where everything up to that point seemed to make some kind of sense. I was happier than I’d ever been. I had trudged through confusion and despair and frustration to get to this place. And I thought, This was my path all along. This is where I would’ve ended up, no matter which path I took to get here. 

But that struck me as false, as well. Because how could I possibly know that? I couldn’t. 

And so, with the distance between where I found myself at and where the One True Path dictated I was supposed to be at, I was finally able to get some perspective.

For instance, didn’t it stand to reason, that I wouldn’t have deviated from the One True Path in the first place, if that’s what I had actually wanted all along?

So, what did I want? What was actually important to me?

Was it possible that maybe all those milestones along the One True Path had been completely fucking arbitrary this entire time? Because I was finally starting to understand that not only did I no longer want them, I’d never wanted them to begin with.  Someone, somewhere had pointed and said, this is the One True Path. And I’d just accepted it without any critical examination of if it even aligned (or didn’t) with me. 

I realized I’d lost my footing before I’d even stepped foot onto the Path in the first place. Because there was no path to step onto. 

I used to think that life was like a wheat field with a clear Path already cut in it. All you had to do was follow it. If you decided to follow a foot trail away from the Path, all you had to do was trace your steps back to the original Path, and you’d be good. You’d be in a different time and place than if you’d just stuck to the course to begin with, but at least you’d still be back on the Path. 

But that’s not what life looks like at all.

Life looks like a completely unblemished, untouched wheat field that’s just waiting for you to take the first step. Blaze your own trail. Start off in one direction, just to turn around and go back the other way, then veer off in a downward loop de loop, stop, take two steps forward, two steps back, and take off again at a diagonal.

It doesn’t matter which way you choose. All that’s important is that you do the choosing. 

 

There is no path.

There is no right way, wrong way, best way, worst way. There’s just where you are, what you have to work with, and where you decide to go from there. 

 

Until next time, farewell, & may your life never cease to be filled with wonder and curiosity.

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