By Guest Blogger, Jen Taylor
Some people choose their path early in life and place one unfaltering foot in front of the other along it. Happy with what they have, their lives move along without any major upsets; they are content.
I am not one of those people. Twelve moves in fifteen years is all the proof I need offer. And no, we’re not on the lam, I checked.
But I would argue that there is a place for wanting more, for loving the path you are on yet seeing another nearby that looks more appealing. What’s the catch? It is easy to want more, but taking the plunge can be frightening.
Have you ever had opportunity knock, felt its lure, and declined to open the door? Considered a possibility or inviting prospect, and turned it down anyway? If so, you are in good company. For some people, these missed opportunities get lost in otherwise busy lives, never to be thought of again. For others, they become a nagging twinge of regret. For a few, they will chafe and cause rampant chocolate consumption…or so I hear.
In my life the path just beginning to lure me is writing. This year has been an enormous eye-opener for me, and I have had to do some soul-searching. Opportunities appear, connections are made and ideas materialize. But is this my path? It is one I’d like to explore: I enjoy the time I spend writing, welcome the perspective that comes from putting thoughts into words and words onto paper or screen. The feedback I receive feels like it reflects who I am inside, which to me is a true measure of being on the right path.
Then why do I duck when someone calls me a writer? It happened early on, as I began to write blog posts and submit articles. Comments and compliments used the word “writer” and while I grasp the obvious I-write-therefore-I-am-a-writer logic of it all, my immediate reaction is to demur, to dismiss what I am doing or have done.
Why do we do this? A path welcomes us, even beckons and still we find ways to slow ourselves down; we are cautious. We decide the risks are too great, the change too fast, the distance between here and there too wide to navigate.
For most of us, it comes down to our risk tolerance. What are the risks? For me, it is that writing can be of a very public nature, and I will face any shortcomings in front of an audience. Is it worth it? I also need to decide if I have the time and energy to commit to it, and if our family can handle me spinning one more plate in the routine.
But what are the risks of not leaping? Of pretending not to see a path that I think will offer me fulfillment that I may not find elsewhere?
I need to accept that writing is and likely will be a significant part of my life as I go forward. And it is something to embrace and decide to make room for in my life. We are, at any given moment, making decisions that will either move us closer to the life we want to lead, or further away.
There are times to be cautious and there are times to be brave. Trust your instincts. If you love something and you know that it matters to you beyond the day to day, beyond the superficial, trust it. If you know that a path looks brighter than the one you are on, be it steps or miles away, there is only one thing to do. Trust it. And get going. And know when you find that sun-dappled path and look back to the one you were on, you will smile and know that, no matter the outcome, you took the plunge. Will you be the one that keeps to one path your whole life and doesn’t risk trying something new? Or will you be out there with me, ducking branches, manoeuvring past obstacles, likely tripping up along the way?
I want to live so that when an interesting path presents itself, I can leave my worries next to my to-do list on the desk, let myself take that beckoning path and just enjoy the journey.
Who’s with me?
Jen Taylor writes her own Blog, LittleMissMocha.com Check her out! And tell us, what do you think? Have you been sitting on the fence deciding where to take the plunge, and feel stuck? Have you ever trusted your instincts and just gone for it? Share your thoughts…