* Please listen to 'Holocene' by Bon Iver while reading
I spend a lot of time by myself. The open road has become an old and good friend. I have spent more hours than I could count on it. A lot of people hate traveling. I have always loved it. It's an opportunity to take a step out of your normal, everyday life and to gain perspective. To see and feel, to come to know that your are not as significant as you think. You are one of many that live in this world, each with their own story, their own hopes and dreams, their own loves and losses.
Each one of us has our own road. Some roads are caused by circumstances beyond our control. Some are chosen. Some of our roads intersect. Some are lonely. Some roads are right. Some are wrong. All are uncertain.
Recently, on a trip to Wisconsin, I saw this more clearly than I ever have; None of us know our own way. We are all searching. We try desperately to check the signs, search the map, check the conditions and plot our course. But in life, the truth is we don't really know where the road we are on will lead. We want certainty. We want clarity. We want confirmation that the road we are on is the right one, the one that will get us to where we want to be.
With all of my years and all of my choices and all of the roads I have gone down, I have learned that life is like this picture. You see what's around you, and a little ahead, but anything beyond that is uncertain. It is exhilarating to some, but scary to most. It is the certainty of the unknown. I find myself on this road right now. I can see what's around me, and a little ahead, but I don't know what lies beyond. I am afraid and confused. I have so many regrets and made so many poor choices. I know where I want it to lead, but can't be for certain if I will get there. I have a decision to make; Do I go back towards what I know and feel comfortable with, or do I forge ahead, uncertain, but holding onto what I hope to be at the end?
I know this...I can't stand still.
What happens if I go back? Will I always regret not knowing what was at the end? What if I forge ahead and am wrong? What will it cost me? Is the road I am on my doing, or Gods? Are they one in the same? What can I live with and what can I not live without?
I want a compass, directions, a map. I want certainty.
I am lost.
Even though I feel lonely and lost, uncertain and afraid, I have been shown, maybe for the first time ever on the back roads of Wisconsin, that I am not alone. That though the road ahead is uncertain...there is hope.