Road Full of Promise

"Decide what to be and go be it."

We all make choices that send down paths we could never have predicted. We started out, often without chooseing the beginnings for ourselves, and either had a clear agenda of what we thought our life would be--we decided--or perhaps we faced a less planned emergence and we had to improvise--we still had to decide! And once I made those choices, my creativity and imagination met up with my desires and needs and the expectations of others, all forcing me to be disciplined in order simply to remember what I decided to be--it's a lot harder to go be it.

Of course, the unexpected challenges on the journey make it hard to remember who you are and what you're about, too. Maybe you lose your job (or quit it). Maybe you get a diagnosis. Maybe somebody you always counted on dies. Maybe you find that things are just different from what you'd expected. Or maybe you got surprised by an opportunity, something you love doing, or someone you love doing it with. It all adds up to making a broken road, a road that you travelled sometimes alone and sometimes with partners--but it's yours. That's the road that is so rich and vibrant and challenging that when you look back maybe you discover that you've changed and evolved. From time to time, it does us good to look back and remember why we started out on the journey in the first place. 

"There was a dream and one day I could see it. Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it."

Then you wake up one day and notice that you took your dreams for your life and put them in a cage. We do it for a bunch of reasons: it doesn't seem realistic, we don't trust ourselves, we outgrow the dream, the dream outgrows us, we're drawn to the dream but also fear it coming true, and so on. When you take the time to back down the path and check on the markers you left behind, you realize that maybe you need to revisit the dreams and examine them, you get to think about why you took the first step.

Lately I've been thinking about those first steps--some when I had no choice but to start moving, some when I made conscious decisions to head down a different road--and I've concluded that I can be really confusing sometimes. But damn, if that indirect and ill-constructed road hasn't made me have to face my worst illusions about myself as well as my best and truest versions of myself. Maybe today is a good day to demand that somebody free that caged bird...I guess that somebody is me.