She looked at me and asked, “Where are you going?”
In 10 million-bazillion directions, I thought. I follow each path and possibility that presents even the hint of adventure; and I love it. I love leading an interesting life. I love learning and putting myself in the position to be exposed to new opportunities to grow beyond my norm. If a path is blocked or turns out to be a dead end, I usually find another, with no problem, to journey along. I travel many paths at once radiating outwardly the positive energy I find.
Sometimes a path is so lovely and the adventure upon it so sweet, that I am sad when it comes to an end – whatever the reason may be. And, I mourn. In the past, my mourning consumed me. Adventures stopped abruptly on all paths in order to fixate on the path that had closed, the experience that had been taken away.
I’ve since learned that very few paths deserve the honor of the mourning-act; instead I thank the path for the inspiration and the time shared and move along. I reserve the rite to mourn for a select few. I’ve also learned to continue to explore the other paths even as I mourn the one that I miss. Otherwise, I miss life. And life is too short to miss.
“Can you not adventure on while you wait?”
Her question made me stop hard. That option had come up (for sure it did), but it didn’t occur to me as viable. It was a mist-dream that had passed through my heart leaving only the fewest water droplets behind. She said it aloud and all of the sudden it was real and intense. She had given the idea life and this incarnate concept demanded that I not only consider it, but do it.
I am in mourning for a beautiful path that was blocked from me. I have confidently honored the path with my genuine sadness. My act has been coming to an end, and I’ve known it. I’ve lingered in the bitter-sweet awe of “what if” considerations to the point where I’ve already started to admonish myself to move on. To leave the path, and focus on the others wholeheartedly; reminding myself that I’ve outgrown the need to fixate, which leads to detrimental pauses.
Her question presented a new option. This time, instead of mourning the path and leaving it, I could mourn and stay. Stay until the opportunity opened up again. Some paths are only blocked for a period of time until they reopen again. She explained that my youthful exuberance, usually a positive trait, could lead me wrong this time.
“Age offers the experience of understanding how the passage of time affects us and our choices…the paths that we take. There’s no need to rush. You can explore at the same time that you wait and an answer will come to you organically, without your abrupt departure, which inevitably forces an end.”
My jaw dropped.
I am so hungry for experience-starts, that I manufacture experience-ends more than I need to. I understand the need to be thankful and even, the need to mourn. I’ve learned to appreciate the growth obtained by calling an end to sadness and continuing adventures along other paths.
But, now, it seems I am to learn path-patience. It is going to be a new layer of zen in my life, I know it.
Man, if this is what it means to grow old, I can’t wait.