The Path We Pave

A road in a forest

Today, I remind myself that rejection is not failure.

Today, I remind myself that failure is our impetus to move forward, onwards and upwards.

We all walk down an imaginary road, a path paved with the concrete of childhood whims and teenage ambitions not yet conceived in full. For years, we paint the lines and place the markers that we believe will guide us to the destination of our daydreams that we worship in the most tired moments, that we lust over in fits of frustration. We tell ourselves if we can only push ourselves a little harder, sleep an hour less, try one more time, we will travel a mile farther… until one day we reach the place only our hearts know.

In all of our lives, there comes a day when our direction dissipates into a distance that lays beyond the grasp of our fingertips, when we are condemned to watch helplessly as a power unknown leaves us shivering in a forest of fear where the road had laid only moments before.

But you have to find a way to get there– wherever there may be. All of a sudden, you cannot remember the way, the way you believed in, the way you worked towards, the way you told yourself was the only one. You pace, you panic, you persist to feel that the road must end here, that you were never meant to make it. That you were never good enough.

And in this lonely place of solitude, we begin to discover who we are. From the depths of disorientation and despair, we find the compass within, the sound of your first footstep in the thick silence louder than the screams you have suppressed for years. It is in the moment we think we have lost everything that we find what we never knew we wanted, what we never knew we needed. Because there is no more path– no more lines to constrain nor confine, no more markers of fulfillment without feeling fulfilled, no more wishing and wanting and worrying overreaching somewhere that never existed outside of our fatal fantasies. And finally, after all this time, you realize that the only path that ever mattered is the one you are paving.

Start. Get lost. Get lost again. Start over. Star again.

In due time, you will find your way.

That, I promise.

A wanderer need not be weary– to wander is to seek, to explore, to embrace what it means to be alive, to be present, to never let a path end. To those who have never faced failure, for those who do not understand the space of solitude surrounded by that crumbled concrete that seemed to bury, to choke, to destroy everything you thought you were, you have not dared to dream beyond. Because that is what matters– what lays beyond your destination, beyond the star you wished on outside your childhood bedroom window a thousand times, beyond degrees and dollar signs, beyond yourself.

Because that is a place the man who walks the linear path cannot find because those who truly persist to find what they are looking for never stop– not even when they get there.