104. Paths

I’m having one of those moments.

You know of them. They come in different shapes and sizes, but they feel relatively similar. They possess the power to derail your everyday thoughts, insisting instead that you look a bit further into the future, like Frost and his two roads.

The interesting thing about those two roads is how we’re constantly choosing between paths without being aware of it. Our routines and patterns are choices, yet after time it just feels like normal, so we don’t question those choices like we used to. And for a while, things are good. You’ve picked your road, either the one less travelled on or the other. In the end, they start to feel like the same thing.

Yet every so often you come to a spot where two paths diverge and it stuns you. You weren’t ready for it. Thing is, there’s no way to backtrack. The curse of time is that it only moves forward. There will always be moments in life when two paths present themselves when you weren’t ready to change course, and your only choice is to choose.

It seems more exciting to take the road less travelled on. It seems wiser to follow a path beaten smooth by many footsteps before you. I suppose it comes down to how much of your life you want to improvise.

I suppose there is a third option. Rather than picking between the two diverging paths, take a hard look at the spot where you’re standing. Think about how you got there, what inspired you, who you met, what you’ve learned, who you’ve become. Sometimes we’re so busy driving forward that we forget to acknowledge the driver. It’s been said a thousand times but there’s really nothing quite like stopping to smell the roses now and again. We’re more than just Pac-Men chasing dots. We fascinate ourselves with our free will so much that we become slaves to it.

The third option says: “Stand still. Take a deep breath. Change is good but not a necessity. When you come to two paths, don’t forget that the first step in any direction comes from within. Remind yourself of what brought you to this moment of choice and try to recognize if, perhaps, you’re creating paths for the sake of creating paths. Maybe everything is okay. Maybe you just forgot.”

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