Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Winding Path

When you are young, you think you know everything.  Well, maybe all young people don't, but when I was young I was pretty sure about a lot of things.  This decisiveness was so strong, it was nearly a fault.  Even in my times of indecision and self-doubt I thought I knew what conclusion I would draw.  Things were very clear.  Emotions were clear.  Responses came in black and white.

What you learn as you age, is that edges are smoothed, blended and blurred, like an impressionist painting.  Nothing is what it seems. At one point, you may think you were seeing one things, from another angle or distance an entire different picture emerges.  Gifts and talents compete with self perception and external ideas about how one should be in the world.  Many people told me I should do very specific things.  I should study this language.  I should work for this business.  I should work my way up a corporate ladder.

The problem is, when you have that many competing conceptions of professional reality pounding against your mind, it makes things very confusing.  When you no longer know who you are, because you have changed so much from who you once were, it becomes unclear what actions you should take.  Patience in this case is the answer, not pursuing one of the attackers.

If you get very still, wait, and listen, things become much clearer.  Sometimes the original plan you had was the best one.  Sometimes the thing you had been fighting against all these years is your calling.  In either case, if you quiet your mind, the path reveals itself.  Desperation, fear, and anger will lead you astray.  Have faith in yourself, in your path, and each step will become easier and easier, and the universe will open itself up to you in all its abundance.    Like they say, when it rains, it pours.

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