teasing the path less traveled
We've all been there. hell, most of us are at that point right now.
"If it's to be, it is up to me" - William H. Johnsen
Truthfully, most times the person at the crossroad is...you. For a myriad of reasons, one is made to accept the things that one cannot change due to prevailing situations, but deep down there is a dark contemptuous being screaming, scarring the walls in an attempt to create grooves and climb out to be set free!
I live this. Always in a constant battle for what I want in comparison to what I currently settle for. In a constant loop of enduring things I normally wouldn't condone, listening to people I'd rather not, feels like a dreadful never-ending rollercoaster ride, reeks of vomit, cries, and unconsciousness.
Unconscious. That's the state of mind of the masses. Mindlessly subscribing to a life of soul decay. Apologies for not being sorry about the tone of this piece. This is personal self-care for me too.
"Quit hanging on to the handrails . . . Let go. Surrender. Go for the ride of your life. Do it every day. ~Melody Beattie
"There is only one success, to be able to spend your life in your own way. ~ Christopher Morley
That job you hate is a handrail, That degree you dislike is a handrail, That relationship that's suffocating you but you think you can't find better? handrail. Anything that you know in your gut that you deserve better than, is a handrail and as long as you hold onto that, sure you'll be "safe" but can you say you're alive? However, these are the views of a 24-year-old with little responsibilities so let's dive deeper.
In my eyes, a choice can be either very spontaneous or carefully thought through... it's my choice and it only affects my life. However, there are countless pitfalls in the realm of choice. sometimes the lack thereof creates a sense of stability...as fickle as that mindset can be, it's a preferred laxative to life than the alarm of freedom.
Going back to the handrail analogy, there are people with deeper responsibilities, ones that remain when they leave and come back, ones that depend on them for sustenance, a perfect example being a family. These situations sometimes require the laxative of "I have no choice", why? because it is the path most traveled.
The Rat Race! the sweet but mind-numbing race to a bi-weekly or monthly stipend that evaporates almost immediately because people are trying to juggle more than the economy can provide... or even give a damn to provide. This kind of people can't just let go. Studies do show that people with the laxative experience less regret and unhappiness than those without. Those without the laxative choose the difficult reality that their choice might be a black hole they may not be able to climb out of... oh well, CANNONBALL!!!
“We are kept from our path not by obstacles but by a clearer path to a lesser goal” - Robert Brault
and that's the truth, although we all crave soul-fulfilling purpose, those purposes aren't immediate income machines, so what do we normally do? go after that opportunity with a lesser probability of failure like... a job. These jobs, especially the nice ones are packaged with bold benefits and some even have the decency to include perks that take care of the people you love so why not kill 2,3, or 4 birds with one boring stone? Most times we choose it out of nothing more than complacency.
What follows is modus operandi. we get the gig and as quickly as finger snaps, the shadow of discontent is cast down, the shadow gets even darker when we get the "real" gist of the company and the work culture. In this state, that being in the depths awakens again...
The truth is...
The path wanted but not traveled creates a chip...the one on your shoulder I mean, and the situation with this kind of chip is... it's cannibalistic! it will keep eating at you and getting bigger until you're nothing but a hollow mass. and that's not even the worse part, once it's consumed you, it starts gnawing at the elements of your life you hold dear, it will affect your relationships, your family ties, their health... you name it.
You start to feel like the people you love are the reasons you held back but no my good human, You made that choice so YOU are the reason you are where you are. Do better. Your loved ones want to see you happy and fulfilled, yes there are requirements from you but the bulk still falls to you to be the best you can be for yourself and them as a result. I've said a lot and you might wonder, "what's a way out"
Embody the puppy
Consider the beautifully brave creature.
The eyes of the pup are always wide, so curious, so energized, regardless of the leash, it will go where its nose will take it. It always craves the path less traveled and could care less about falling many times because with those falls, it's registering where to avoid and become better at its game as it grows to be a master pathfinder. It's an adventurer but has focus. Embody the pup.
In clearer terms, what I'm trying to say is, take risks, but empower yourself to have a plan B to survive in the temporary times of failure, to recoup and try again because at the end of the day your future self would forever be grateful that the present you, started the journey to the path less traveled.
"The chase for peace always outweighs the cost of complacency" - bhld