Journey on the Road Less Traveled by

The dimly lit path was long and arduous, and not without its numerous obstacles and tempting side paths. But she had made it this far. She could go further. It was only mind over matter, right? “Right”, she declared with only a slight wavering note in her voice.

Besides, secondhand knowledge had already told her that these tempting side paths that shone like the North Star on a pitch-black night could be the most debilitating. In fact, they could be downright treacherous. She had heard tales of side paths eventually leading off into overgrown jungles where terrifying trees grabbed at your hair and made biting remarks about your slow progress before enveloping you completely within wooden and unyielding cores. Other paths led to sinking sand pits that held you captive until either someone else came along to rescue you or you found the strength to pull yourself out. And yet other paths were so barren and picked over by previous wanderers that the current travelers had to turn back to take another path or risk certain death by starvation.

And so she had continued until the path led to a clearing with only a steep ledge laying beyond it. That was it. Nothing else.  She had looked around with confusion creasing her youthful face. Had this whole journey been for naught? Was there nothing more beyond this point except a significant drop and painful death? Did nothing more exist beyond what was on the known paths?

Disappointment had rendered her completely motionless as her thoughts swirled around chaotically like hummingbirds caught in a windstorm.

It was then, in the stillness, that she suddenly realized her journey down this path wasn’t over. This was her final obstacle. This was her Everest moment.

Taking deep breaths she forced herself to stand inches from the edge. She didn’t want to look down because she knew the dizzying sensation and possibly deadly effect that that would have on her nerves. Instead she stared straight ahead, quieted the voices of self-doubt that had plagued her since birth, and jumped off of the precipice and into the great abyss.

She knew immediately that she had chosen correctly. She knew because instead of falling, she flew. Gravity would no longer be her master.

Reflections from a Quarter-Life Crisis: Chase Your Dreams

“Life is a journey, not a destination.”                                     Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Truth

Almost no one has life figured out when they’re pushed out of the nest at 18. They just hope that if they can pick the right major and graduate from the right college without overwhelming debt, they can wander into what they really want out of life later. They can coast. So yeah, they’ll take the internship in their field and then the job that comes after it when they graduate, because who are they to say “no” to the income. They’ll find a cute guy online who says all the right stuff, puts a ring on it, says “I love you” at the right moment, and gets along with their parents. Eventually, they’ll get a house and a car loan, and all the other things that “settled” people acquire.

But then they’ll turn 25 and realize that something is missing. And no, it’s not God (he’s still around) and no, it’s definitely not a baby (heaven knows they’re neither ready nor wanting one anytime soon, so stop asking), and no, it is most assuredly not the next professional degree or job (done and done). It is, in fact, the dream that they’ve carried around their whole life finally beating straight out of their chest. It’s the childhood ambition that kept sending in resumes but was never invited in for an interview because it never found itself in the right company or it was never the “right time”. Now, it’s kicking down the door and making you acknowledge it’s presence. It’s absolutely refusing to be ignored or put down anymore by the excuses that were generated by fear. It’s not giving you a choice anymore. You either invite it in and put it to work or live with the regret of what might have been as you get rid of it once and for all.

Live Your Life

I understand that this post is not applicable to everyone. There are so many paths that lead to fulfillment in life but my hope is that by writing this, at least one person who has been letting their dreams rot within them because they were worried about disappointing people, failing, or wasting their time, will stop and reconsider what they’ll lose if they don’t pursue their ambition. It doesn’t matter what age you are or where you are currently, just go after what you want wholeheartedly. We are only on this Earth for a finite time. Get serious about your dreams or get out. Stop treating it like a childish hobby if it’s really what you want to do with your life. And stop worrying about what other people will think of you! The truth is that they’re usually too worried about their own issues to put a microscope to yours anyways.

P.S. Nike had it right when they said “JUST DO IT”. Stop delaying your dream because you’re waiting for the right moment or the right person to knock on your door. Just create the opportunities and knock on other people’s doors. You’ll be glad you did it NOW instead of five years from NOW, I promise. Rock what you’ve got and never look back because honestly, looking back is only going to cause you to trip! 🙂

Sincerely,

A (former) PROcrastinator and (reformed) Overthinker