Sunday, January 25th, 2004 • 1 Comment on Gone Off On a Tanget: Be Back Soon
There are days when I write here with the knowledge that other people are reading. So, I strive to write something interesting or informative or just funny. There are days when I need to rant about something and I know I have an audience—at least a small audience—who will appreciate my rants. There are days when I simply need to write and my creative efforts here will eventually be spun into something else, somewhere else.
Then there are days when I’m writing entirely for myself, which is today. So, for the sake of sparing everyone else my ramblings, I’m putting my thoughts down below. It really isn’t of any interest to anyone but me, so feel free to skip over to some other more entertaining web page today. You won’t be missing much.
There are times when I wish I was a twin. Or better, a triplet. I have so many things I want to do and experience in my life and there is no way I’ll get to cover it all in this lifetime. I’m thirty-six and feel like time is running out on me. I don’t want to grow old and be a huge disappointment to myself because I didn’t do all the things on my list of things to do.
I feel as if there are different paths and if I go down path A I’ll live one kind of life and if I go down path B it’ll be entirely different and path C is something else as well. I suppose everyone has different paths to choose but why is it that some people’s paths are so clearly marked, so obvious, that they never notice the paths in their periphery? Why do I see the path in the underbrush and the path just beyond the boulders and the path that follows the highway into the city? (This was sounding way too Robert Frost, so I needed a city allusion.)
I suppose the problem is not the choosing of a path, it’s the altering of a path once one has been chosen. The paths in my life haven’t been straight, they’ve been twisty and winding. They haven’t taken me the shortest distance from point A to point B, but I can’t say it hasn’t been an interesting ride. I have no regrets about the paths I’ve chosen or how I’ve changed them to suit myself or even how they’ve altered according to circumstances beyond my control. I just wish I could choose more.
Perhaps my problem has always been that I can see the options and the possibilities. It would be better (or at least easier, for sure) if my imagination was limited to only what was in front of me. But I have an imagination that envisions different lives for myself and while that doesn’t make me less contented with the life I have now, it makes me think about choices and options and whether I’ll be disappointed or feel my life is lacking if I don’t make some other choice.
The truth is, whatever path I choose or whatever decisions I make are only illusions of control. There was a time when that knowledge—the fact that I’m not truly in control of my destiny—made me feel helpless and scared. Now I’m glad for the fluidity and flexibility of life, the unsuspecting events that take me on paths that I never saw, despite my imagination.
There are some paths that I know will always be open to me, no matter where I go in life or how old I am. Those are the paths I am thankful for because they offer stability just by existing. There are other paths that have a statute of limitations and at some point, whether I like it or not, they will disappear from view and no longer be an option. There is a sense of immediacy in deciding what to do about those paths that disturbs me because I don’t want to be limited. Of course, there are paths that I think might still be open to me and I will find that they aren’t, that whatever chance I had to follow that particular road ended without me even knowing it.
I suppose it’s ironic that someone so geographically and directionally challenged is using paths as a metaphor for life. But that’s my reality—whichever path I choose, I will invariably end up lost and stumble on to some new path. I need to remember that when I’m pressuring myself to make choices. Life is what I make it—and what it makes of me. It all works out in the end, right?