When I have a lot of time by myself, it’s usually spent thinking. I’ve been staying at other people’s houses dogsitting for two weeks now, and during my nights alone, I’ve thought about life and outlooks and purpose. I think about my life and where it’s going, and about other people’s lives and how they got where they are. There are so many roads, and starting down any single one feels like an irreversible commitment.
I had a very freeing and inspiring realization tonight, though. What if, instead of imagining ourselves at the splitting of a hundred-pronged fork in a road, we pictured a field instead? Maybe that’s how life was meant to be. I mean, before our human need for order and rules, everything just wandered about with no restrictions. Perhaps the question of life is not multiple choice, but open ended. As opposed to roads, which form lines or curves, a field is just an open expanse. You can go any direction, then change it up. You can double back, or create a scribble. It’s overwhelming and freeing at the same time.
I think the overwhelming part is why we pave our fields with roads and limit ourselves to direction a, b, or c. But isn’t it better to feel overwhelmed but free than limited and stuck? We’ve gotten so used to being put in boxes and witnessing others box themselves up that we do it to ourselves in our own minds. We’re constantly saying “I can’t do that” because “that” might not fall in line with what we’ve done so far or what society expects from us. It’s a subconscious habit – we’re so used to doing it, we don’t even realize when we are anymore.
We need to remember that we can always choose to change. When there are no roads, change isn’t scary, it’s expected. Whether you’re 13 or 63, you can still look at the world as a field with unlimited options and possibilities and allow that freedom to inspire you, not overwhelm you. We’ve all been attached to our roads for too long – time to grab a jackhammer and tear those fuckers up.