i’m on a road that stretches out in front of me and i can’t see what’s at the end. i’ve heard that once i get there, my life will be better. i’ve heard that the trip is challenging but the destination makes it worth it. i’m told that once i’m there, i won’t struggle every day. i’ll be calmer, more centered, more grounded, more me. i’ve heard that my anxiety and depression and eating disorders won’t live there. i’m told i’ll be happy. i’m told i will be free.
i start down the road, determined to get going. i’m desperate to escape from my here and now. it’s not a paved road, and the weather looks forbidding. ruts and puddles abound. there are no hints, no signposts detailing how long this trip will take. there’s just the road, stretching out in front of me as far as i can see. walking it is requires a leap of faith.
the idea of it, the realities of the journey scare me but i want that promised life. i want days that aren’t about ugly feelings and hard struggles. one foot hits the path, and then another. i’m walking.
as i push on, i notice the road has avenues branching off, heading away to the left and to the right. they look more appealing than this one. some are well-paved; some are a smooth and rolling dirt tracks, puddle and rut-free; some are softly waving grass. the sun is shining on them, and the air smells sweet and warm. trees line the sides, pretty, and covered with and abundance of spring flowers.
they’re deceptively lovely, those paths, but i know they’re a trap. i’ve seem where those easy roads end. i’ve been down them before. the appealing look is false advertising. those roads lead nowhere new, they simply circle back to my beginning, to where it is cold and dark and miserable. back to where everything is hard, to where my misery seems unrelenting.
they look easy though, and i’m already tired. i’m already worried. the path i’m supposed to stay on, the road i need to take, asks more of me and i wonder if i have it to give.
i keep walking. i can give up at any time. knowing that makes it easier to push on, somehow. i can always give up and head back. the choice to keep trying gets remade with every step. for now, i’m ready to try something different. i’m tired of always ending up in the same place. i’m tired of picking myself up only to re-do the same things that put me down. i’m willing to pass the deceptively easy road by for now. the unknown is worrisome, but the familiar is worse. i’m told that where i’m trying to go is better than where i’ve been.
november 19, 2017