Do you ever wonder if you’re on the right path in life? Wonder if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing? If you’re headed in the right direction? I wonder about that. A lot. Especially since I left the traditional workforce almost three years ago. Rather than jump right back into the rat race, I decided to see if maybe, just maybe, there was more to life than that and whether maybe, just maybe, I could be happy, peaceful and content with my life, regardless of how much – or little – money I have in the bank. I got this crazy idea that it might be possible for me to do the things I enjoy and that have meaning to me and still have enough to live on.
And I’ve sort of stumbled into a new line of work where I sing old songs to elders who have dementia. In many ways it’s a ridiculous idea, at least in terms of making enough to live on. While I get great joy and receive tremendously positive feedback from the elders themselves, as well as from their families and eldercare professionals, it may not be sustainable as a “job”, even though my financial goals and needs are relatively modest. But I’m continuing to move forward, singing songs, talking to people, and just putting one foot in front of the other.
And I’m making progress. But I’m continually asking myself if I’m on the right path. It happened again this morning. I was beside the lake where I do my daily walking mediation, looking longingly at the trail in front of me which shows me exactly where to go. If only I had such clear direction in the rest of my life.
Then it came to me that if you’re living your life authentically; that is, not living someone else’s life, or someone else’s idea of what life should be, you are going where no one has gone before. You’re bushwhacking as it were, travelling through completely uncharted territory. There is no path ahead. It doesn’t exist yet. Your path is being created by your own steps though the unknown. And even with a clear goal or destination in mind, the path you create to reach it will depend on the conditions and circumstances you find along the way, many of which won’t be evident from a distance.
So I’m going to stop worrying about whether or not I’m headed in the right direction and just focus on appreciating and enjoying the scenery, the people, and the experiences I encounter on my own unique journey. And if I really want to see the path I’m on, I guess I’ll just have to look behind me.