Ralph Waldo, this is crazy-making advice. Because breaking a trail might require a machete or snow shoes or a 75 foot sailboat. At the very least it will require slipping a few knots of behavior that have been a support.
As I look around my circle of friends, so many of us are not where we thought we’d be. Sometimes better and sometimes worse, but going where the path took us or leaving a trail, neither ends up being all that sedate or comfortable. Challenge finds us, whether we’re on top of a mountain or reading in the living room.
For me, it’s about regret. I’ve been planning ahead to avoid it since I was a kid. So I followed that random thought that returned again and again, and I wrote the book. Now I find myself, 60 years old, and waiting for a grade on some extra-credit homework I turned in. What a world.
We were snowbound all weekend; the weather seems a bit overly dramatic for this update. One more rejection letter this week–I notice that the rejection form letters I have gotten are all well-written and kind. No offense intended and none taken.
I also got an email from a publisher saying my submission had fallen through the cracks. See? My worst fear realized. She asked if my manuscript was still available; if so, she would forward it to the editorial committee. So it’s day one for me at that publisher.
Sometimes I think I’m too old for this. I can’t remember the last time I placed something this valuable to me in the hands of strangers. It gives me way too much time to think about paths. Is there some age where we stop talking about dreams? Some age where gravity outweighs the ‘what if’ question? Or where feeling as vulnerable as I do right now just isn’t worth it?
Last week, I asked what you were all reading and was rewarded with a reading list I will be chipping away at for months. Thank you. Really. This week I have a much more personal question: Is there a patch of open ground you are drawn towards? How do you balance dreams, regrets, and everyday life?