Thursday, October 28, 2010

This morning's walk

As you may know, I've been actively searching for a job since moving back home to live with my parents. The process of job hunting is full of false starts and long stretches of despair, punctuated by glimmers of hope and unexpected opportunities. Especially in this economy, I've expected that I will have to work five times as hard as I did the last time I was looking for jobs, and that the path may be filled with multiple false dawns and a lot of failures before I get to that next stage in life.

Today I woke with a headache which worsened when I looked through my inbox. Isn't it always the case that just when you think you really must soldier forward, it is better to give yourself a little break, and subsequent recouping allows a more productive afternoon than would have otherwise been possible? So I stepped out for a walk, and in stumbling across a park found myself suddenly staring at a split in the road. And in a twist on Robert Frost, although the two paths certainly differed in degree of wear, I could clearly see that the more well-worn path would lead in a long, winding, circuitous path away from where I wanted to go. Whereas the lesser-worn path, which truly disappeared entirely 20 feet from the fork, lay in the general direction where I knew I ultimately wanted to go.

True to form, I took that second path. Instead of pavement, it led me through crunching leaves, past thin saplings, and onto a slightly worn path which seemed to lead towards a series of urban gardens, blockaded from access by a series of gates. Although, of course, if one looked closely, it became apparent that there were gaps between the gates, and once through the gates was a tiny, before-unknown and wild tangle of urban gardens.

Now, if you know me in real life, you know that I love, love, love urban gardens, love crunching leaves and the smell of Fall, I love going for walks and I love stumbling across unexpected treasure troves. It seemed like such a perfect metaphor for where I am at in life: one path that is clear and which pretty clearly takes me away from where my heart wants to go, and a direction my heart would prefer even if it has no clue how to go about getting there, and one which likely holds so many of favorite things along its path. And actually, one of the reasons I took this walk was because I need to make some decisions, and its never easy to consciously turn down the easier decision, is it?

Have you read The Alchemist? I'm not very good at reading signs, so sometimes when things pop up in life, I can't tell if the universe is offering up an opportunity and the right thing to do is to follow the path of least resistance and take it and trust it will land me in the right place because the universe conspires to make your journey easiest at the beginning to encourage you, or if those little "nooooooooooooo"s I get from my impulsive, intuitive side should be listened to because I'm supposed to listen to my heart. Does that ever happen to you? It's part of what causes me to doubt that intuition. But anyways, I know that indecision is bad for me because it just causes anxiety to hang over my head and occupies a lot of mental space ... and as it only took me a couple seconds to decide which way to walk this morning (most of that time, I'll admit, was spent taking in the environment so I could write about it later), I guess I should stop waffling and get on with my "analog" life, as Sigrid would call it.


poet said...

Beautiful post.

I have read The Alchimist, and I think it's a great book! I am not spiritual enough to believe the universe is sending me signs, but what I do believe is that we only need to look closely at what we interpret in the likeness of signs, and how we interpret it, to understand what our subconscious wants to tell us. Sometimes it is painful or takes very long to untangle the meaning (once it took me 2 years after I already knew all the facts!), but it's definitely worth while. And in the meantime, it is sometimes nice to pretend magic exists.


Ally said...

How weird to read your post at this point in my life when I have similar questions and similar paths spreading ahead of me...
Whatever you might call it - signs, god, intuition... somehow if fulfills the same purpose - getting us on track to where we should be.

Sigrid said...

Haven't read that. I don't believe that there are sign posts per se, but I do know that sometimes when I do notice something, it's for a reason: simply to pay special attention to how I feel about something. (I think Poet put this a bit more clearly than I.)

And yes, in the long run, taking the less expedient route is actually easier. I have to keep trying to make myself do that.

Zonnah said...

I love that saying, 'analog life'. I am going to start using that :)

Jamie said...

Beautiful metaphor. Shout out to Robert Frost. I need to read the Alchemist. Also need to learn from you how to embed links and do other cool stuff on my blog, and/or acquire readers. But anyway, I always love your writing.

Jodi said...

That is one of my favourite poems! It's nice to read it now. I am in Switzerland at the moment, my path seems to have lead me here :)