So you had a plan with milestones and goals. Then life happened. One or more of the following caused you to be somewhere other than you expected. A birth, death, illness, injury, job loss, love, caretaking, school, career change, breakup, or an error in judgment changed the trajectory of the turns on your map. You might feel as if you feel as if you’ve hit a dead end in fulfilling the next step of your journey. You’ve been away from the game for so long that you don’t know how to unearth the you of yesteryear. You’re feeling your value waste away as the clock ticks.
The truth is you haven’t been derailed. You are measuring your value by an old metric. One that was full of promises you made to yourself at a different period of time, with the absence of any crossing bars in the down position. You made assurances to yourself that you would accomplish what you set out to do no matter what. Now that you haven’t accomplished your intent in your self-imposed timeline or to the level you set, you are getting weary.
You are experiencing one of two things: a life detour or a liferail switch.
Detours come up pretty suddenly and although signage is usually evident, the path is rarely direct or clear. They do not ensure you a shorter distance, a quicker way of getting there, or even a smoother path. They instead acknowledge that you have the need to arrive at a specific destination and provides you an alternate way to get there.
Liferail switches are like railroad switches. This is where you’re trundling along on your chosen path and something or someone (maybe you), moves you onto a diverging route. There is no way to revert to the old path once that “click” happens. What might be even more disconcerting about this phenomenon is that there are a myriad of additional deviating routes off every path leaving many opportunities for you to inadvertently change directions.
The answers to both kinds of experiences lie in your level of openness, patience, and awareness during the journey. It’s about what you learn from the people you meet along the way, keeping the “Are we there yet’s” at bay, and being able to examine how you feel in every moment.
Sometimes changing gears is the answer, and at other times it’s okay to coast – saving time and energy for when it’s really needed. When you question yourself, do it in a loving manner. Do not berate yourself for the timing or your inability to “get back on track”. Expect and accommodate varied terrain and additional delays. Enjoy the vistas at each stop. They are temporary. Time is an illusion created by perception. It can become an abyss filled with regrets if you insist on sticking with your original directions once your route has changed. There’s no shame in letting go and picking up on something else- and you can do that as often as you deem fit.
Life will never be about the destination. Your opportunities are not exhausted until you pull into the station.