After dwelling far too long at a crossroad, I’ve started moving again, but in the fog and owl-light I still don’t know which road I eventually took. The others have passed long ago and the snow is covering every track. All I can do is continue along the outlines of the chosen road, and hope, that when dawn reveals my destination, I’ll be home.
That’s a short extract from something I wrote a while ago and never finished because that’s me, I write sincere and vague one paragraph stories that never make it out from their neat folders in the cloud.
The metaphor of the crossroad, however, has stuck with me and I can’t shake it off. Because as much as I hate the feeling of standing there, with a couple of options that all seem equally unappealing, and no idea where the hell everyone else went (somehow they disappeared when I wasn’t looking), I have slowly come to terms with it. By now I have accepted that that is the way of life. But it’s not been an easy road to acceptance.
At the time I wrote that one paragraph (and also wrote a bunch of other things with the same theme) there was this guy. Back then I had a short-lived but massive crush on him, and a couple of times we sat up until 4 a.m. just talking. He was a fun and good-looking guy and for whatever reason, he had some interest in me, at least for the time being. For some reason it’s much easier to talk about deep stuff around four in the morning, even when sober, and we ended up comparing our views on the world among other things.
I tried to explain my feelings about the future as vaguely as I could, by using the crossroad metaphor. I told him about the stress of making a forced decision, where there are only two options and the supposedly better one, isn’t the one I’d prefer. At first, I did imagine it as two equally accessible roads, but after a while I realized the real reason behind my hesitation to choose — the road I actually wanted to go, was shut. There wasn’t anything to choose between anymore, and my imaginary crossroad was nothing but the same old highway it always was.
It was a devastating realization and I still have days when I’m struggling with it, but that’s the thing. I have accepted that this specific part of the road includes struggling with certain aspects of the journey in a bigger perspective.
We find ourselves at crossroads all the time, big or small, life changing or mundane. Sometimes they hold us up to the point where suddenly there are no options left to choose between. Sometimes the choice is so simple that we barely even notice the bump in the road.
Sometimes it’s necessary to stop for awhile, reconsider and tune in with your goals, before you redirect. But we need to keep moving, whether or not we know our destination for sure.
My reluctance to decide made the choice for me that time and I’m keeping a steady pace now, waiting for dawn to reveal the next crossing.