Life’s travels: Left or right?

I’ve come to a major fork in life’s journey and all of my maps are outdated and tattered. There are very few signs and a great deal of fog in the near-wilderness that I’m idling in, so I’m not completely certain what to do next. But I know I have to do something; I have to turn left or right.

I’m travelling solo, too, which means there’s no one to share the journey’s map-reading with me; no one to help determine my course. There are people along the various routes to help with directions if I get lost, but I’ve learned through years of travel (and giving directions!) that helpful people aren’t necessarily the most knowledgeable people. (I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve asked or been asked for directions from a fellow tourist!) Still, those people do help make the journey possible; without them, I would be completely lost.

So, which way do I turn? To the left; dreams. To the right; a sense of duty.

How do you decide? Each road is paved with a mixture of joy and grief; each with accomplishments and regrets. Each road is lined with wonderful opportunities, but with abundant sacrifice, too.

Left or right, there will be tears. Left or right there will be sleepless nights. But left or right, there will be joy and laughter, too.

Left or right, with little chance for the roads to merge. To the left, there might be one-way spurs to take me back to the right (but the spur is rather bumpy!). To the right, there are no mapped spurs back to the left and I don’t know that it’s possible to build my own road at this point.

I can imagine the good things along each route. I can imagine all of the joys I would have and the potential onward journeys. After all, even the most unpleasant journey is bound to have a bright spot along the way. (Even if you refuse to look out your window!)

I know that there are a few turn-around places on one road and that the road is a route that I must remain on until the destination has been met. I desperately wish that I could turn left, but find an access road to take me to the right on occasion. I desperately wish I could turn left and build contraflows that would lead me to the right for a bit without missing out on my left-ward travels.

The light is red at the moment, so I have time to think. I’m opting out of my free-right-on-red because I want more time; I need more time. I suppose I know I’ll go left once the light turns green but I worry that the left-hand road might be closed by then. And if I am forced one way or another because of road closures, I know that it will make the road I travel harder because it won’t be a choice but rather the only option. (Or at least the only option for that moment in time.)

At the moment, I’m idling. I have a few more days (weeks?) before I have to make a final left-or-right decision. But eventually, I’m going to need to flip on my turn signal and step on the accelerator. After all, life requires us to keep moving along!

I’ve had much too much time to think these past few weeks if you can’t tell. And thinking just brings confusion and uncertainty sometimes. I hate that, I really do.

4 Replies to “Life’s travels: Left or right?”

  1. ugh. idk what your choices are, and i don’t envy them. for my own experience, you gotta go with what makes you happy /today/ and not overthink potential of a or b or c down the line. ‘cause (to follow your metaphor) there are diversions ahead you cannot anticipate, no matter how good your navigation system is – recalibrating satellites, and all that.

    you know you’ve got a great family, who’ll support you in whatever. so cross them right out the equation, and decide what you want. right now. (and you know which way this is – we always do, not matter how much self-obfuscation we indulge.)

    1. Thanks, Jack! It’s so frustrating because I really do wish I could take both roads at once, though I know I can’t. I also know that the left is the road that will make me happiest in the immediate short term, and will likely give me the best long-term joy. Still… I wish I could find a way to do both!

  2. I hate those kind if decisions and I’m bad at them. That’s why I tend to idle. I don’t like making blind statements but there’s generally a third option… Making your own road. Whatever you decide, You always make great decisions or you would not be about to add Dr to yor name. Trust yourself.

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