The Beckoning Path

By Guest Blogger, Jen Taylor

Some people choose their path early in life and place one unfaltering foot in front of the other along it.  Happy with what they have, their lives move along without any major upsets; they are content.

I am not one of those people.  Twelve moves in fifteen years is all the proof I need offer.  And no, we’re not on the lam, I checked.

I am happy with the life I lead.  It is full of inspiration, blessings and comforts.  To want more is to seem ungrateful of the abundance already surrounding me.

But I would argue that there is a place for wanting more, for loving the path you are on yet seeing another nearby that looks more appealing.  What’s the catch?  It is easy to want more, but taking the plunge can be frightening.

2 roads diverge

Have you ever had opportunity knock, felt its lure, and declined to open the door?  Considered a possibility or inviting prospect, and turned it down anyway?  If so, you are in good company.  For some people, these missed opportunities get lost in otherwise busy lives, never to be thought of again.  For others, they become a nagging twinge of regret.  For a few, they will chafe and cause rampant chocolate consumption…or so I hear.

In my life the path just beginning to lure me is writing.  This year has been an enormous eye-opener for me, and I have had to do some soul-searching.  Opportunities appear, connections are made and ideas materialize.  But is this my path?  It is one I’d like to explore:  I enjoy the time I spend writing, welcome the perspective that comes from putting thoughts into words and words onto paper or screen.  The feedback I receive feels like it reflects who I am inside, which to me is a true measure of being on the right path.

chasing your dreams

Then why do I duck when someone calls me a writer?  It happened early on, as I began to write blog posts and submit articles.  Comments and compliments used the word “writer” and while I grasp the obvious I-write-therefore-I-am-a-writer logic of it all, my immediate reaction is to demur, to dismiss what I am doing or have done.

Why do we do this?  A path welcomes us, even beckons and still we find ways to slow ourselves down; we are cautious.  We decide the risks are too great, the change too fast, the distance between here and there too wide to navigate.

For most of us, it comes down to our risk tolerance.  What are the risks?  For me, it is that writing can be of a very public nature, and I will face any shortcomings in front of an audience.  Is it worth it?  I also need to decide if I have the time and energy to commit to it, and if our family can handle me spinning one more plate in the routine.

But what are the risks of not leaping?  Of pretending not to see a path that I think will offer me fulfillment that I may not find elsewhere?

I need to accept that writing is and likely will be a significant part of my life as I go forward.  And it is something to embrace and decide to make room for in my life.  We are, at any given moment, making decisions that will either move us closer to the life we want to lead, or further away.

There are times to be cautious and there are times to be brave.  Trust your instincts.  If you love something and you know that it matters to you beyond the day to day, beyond the superficial, trust it.  If you know that a path looks brighter than the one you are on, be it steps or miles away, there is only one thing to do.  Trust it.  And get going.  And know when you find that sun-dappled path and look back to the one you were on, you will smile and know that, no matter the outcome, you took the plunge.  Will you be the one that keeps to one path your whole life and doesn’t risk trying something new?  Or will you be out there with me, ducking branches, manoeuvring past obstacles, likely tripping up along the way?

overcoming obstacles

I want to live so that when an interesting path presents itself, I can leave my worries next to my to-do list on the desk, let myself take that beckoning path and just enjoy the journey.

Who’s with me?

Jen

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Jen Taylor writes her own Blog, LittleMissMocha.com Check her out! And tell us, what do you think? Have you been sitting on the fence deciding where to take the plunge, and feel stuck? Have you ever trusted your instincts and just gone for it? Share your thoughts…

xoxEDxox

15 Comments
  1. Thank you Jen! I know there are many women who doubt themselves, and their dreams. But sometimes you gotta get up, stand up, face the music, and GO FOR IT! I did 8 months ago and it’s been the ride of my life! You’re welcome to come back anytime!

  2. Great post. I think it’s human nature for women to doubt themselves. It took me 6 unhappy years at a job I hated until I decided to start my own consulting business and now I couldn’t be happier. I was scared to death but decided my happiness comes first and I’m glad I took the plunge. Thanks for making us see that what can be scary can sometimes lead to incredible choices.

  3. Nice post Jen.

    A few years ago I had started running. At our staff Christmas Party, the company I worked for decided to use the proceeds from the party’s fundraiser to contribute to a charity race I was running. Someone asked me at the party if I was a runner. I kind of stammered and mumbled ‘yes, I guess so’. My wife asked me why it was such a confusing question. I said I didn’t really consider myself a runner, despite the fact that I was running in a race.

    What you have outlined is the similar idea. If you were a person who did a trade, like plumbing, it wouldn’t be hard to convince yourself that you’re a Plumber.

    Writing is only different because we create something different around that idea. Once you over come that obstacle for yourself, you’re on your way.

    Great advice, thanks.

  4. I enjoyed this post. It’s difficult to take the plunge though sometimes. Sometimes we want to do something and factors outside of our control prevent us from doing so. But I always try and live my life doing the things I love and being with the people that inspire me. Thanks for the post.

  5. Beautiful! I am launching a new writing group for mothers this weekend, and I’ve been fretting and thinking about what to say to these women to give them the permission and the push they need to invest in themselves and in their creativity…now I know that I shall just bring this post and read it to them.

  6. Excellent post by an excellent WRITER 😉

    I completely understand. Anytime I am acknowledged for writing/blogging/online efforts or someone uses the term ‘success’ and my name in any way I am taken aback. I shouldn’t be, I am very proud, but still…crazy. and new.

  7. Hey cuz,

    Great blog! I too am enjoying writing, especially the blog, but unfortunately don’t find the time I need to do all that I want. Plus unlike you, I am not as good with words, mostly because as a kid I only read Archie comics… remember? As a Grade 6 English teacher I have actually learned to enjoy reading (only fluff books however). It seems strange to people that an English teacher would not enjoy reading, but it is actually what makes me a good teacher. I empathize and truly understand why kids don’t like to read and I have helped many kids make a change in that area, just as I eventually did.

    I enjoy the path I am on right now and who knows when I will see the next path cross mine, hopefully it will be even more beautiful than this one.

    Laura

  8. Wonderful post, Jen. I too have felt the call to write. However, I’m so busy with work and kids I fear spending time pursing something that won’t pan out with the rewards my family needs right now. Writing is something I put off. Your post links writing with the call to courage. And that’s very important. Thanks.

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