“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”-Soren Kierkegard
Life has a funny, sick sense of humor. Everything must done backwards, but that’s the way we learn. Sitting here now, trying to figure out what to do moving forward, I am left with many of the same questions I have always had; can I, should I, will I, what do I…how?
Regardless of what stage we are at in our journey these questions will be there and typically, it is not until looking back that we can truly grasp it all. Even then, we will never know the outcome of the alternate decisions we could have made because any number of them could have sent our future’s into an infinite number of different realities. As I contemplate my future, as well as my past, and deliberate where to go from here these decisions rattle around my brain. How do we know which way to go? There is no map, there are guidelines but unfortunately those really only apply to the masses, and who the hell wants to go that way? So what is it, what compass do we follow? What path, what direction? Some of us are fortunate enough to have mentors and inspirations, alive or dead, to help illuminate the way, but even then, we still must go at it alone with no clear route.
“Sometimes the only difference between an insane person and a genius, is time.”-Me
I read a lot, particularly non-fiction. I look at the countless stories of people that have “made it”, I see the struggles, the fears, the doubts they have, as well as all those around them. I see how easy it could have been to give up, as so many of us do. When striving for a seemingly impossible goal we all come across as a bit off our rockers, and not until looking back do we ever find out the truth. I think of a child with a “crazy” dream. Who are we to discourage them, who are we to say “Naw kid that’s just a pipe dream, a phase, you’ll get over it.” Because really, who knows for sure? When two people fall in love at first sight, immediately get married and want to spend the rest of their lives together who’s to say they are nuts, and who’s to say they aren’t doing exactly what they should, following their hearts? That’s the dilemma; no one knows or can say for sure.
It can be so easy to look at the success stories, the ones who truly took an off the wall idea, made it reality and think, “Well yea, obviously they went the right way!” However, put yourself back in their shoes from the beginning, or anytime along their journey. Really see it. See this idea that no one believes but you, see coming to your family, friends and loved ones only for them to laugh at you for being ridiculous. And maybe you are, but what if you’re not? What if you are really about to have a break through. What if you are about to change the trajectory of the world? Or what if you really are nuts and doing nothing but wasting your time and putting those who care about you through hell? Unfortunately, that’s the risk one must take, but is it really unfortunate? Just think, what if no one had to risk, or sacrifice anything in order to achieve? What if everything was a sure thing, if we always knew the outcome of our endeavors? There’s probably a piece in all of us that wishes for that kind of world but take a step back for a minute and truly think about it. Do you want to live a life where everything is spelled out, where everything is known? A life with no magic, no questions. We couldn’t have dreams, only ideas. If we do this then we get that. I for one prefer the mystery. Everything in life is a risk, but that is what makes life, life. The unknown is scary but it is where the magic lies.
To sum it all up there are no guarantees but just remember there are no guarantees no matter what we choose to do. You could spend your life chasing your dreams only to end up dead, alone and viewed as a selfish asshole that only cared about their stupid dreams; you could also do everything by the book and end up in the exact same place.
The only person that knows what’s in your heart is you, and we all need to continually check ourselves and make sure that is what we are listening to and not our own, overinflated ego. Life is a delicate, dangerous, beautiful dance that is overflowing with more mystery then we could ever imagine.
In the end, it is all up to you and you have to be the one to own whatever decisions you do, or do not, make.