You can’t be everything to everyone all the time and still be true to yourself. My father used to tell me that all the time when I was young. When it didn’t really make sense because stuff like that doesn’t make sense until you’ve experienced some living and can see how these things mesh within your own story.
My father also used to tell me that walking half a mile in another’s footsteps was like walking five miles on your own, uphill into the wind. Again, this didn’t make a whole bunch of sense until I had spent part of my life walking in another’s footsteps, chasing their dreams which didn’t match my own dreams. Granted at the time I wasn’t sure what my dreams were, not really. It takes time and reflection to know which dreams to follow and which as just nice to think about.
I’ve walked more than enough steps down a path that wasn’t mine, just to turn around and find my own path. I’ve tried to fulfill dreams that weren’t mine to fulfill. And I’ve spent periods of my life living the life others wanted or expected of me.
So you’d think that by now I would have figured things out as to what I want, how to get it and who I am. But now and then I surprise myself. It’s normally after I’ve struggled with something and can’t figure out why it’s been so hard to achieve that a switch flicks in and I realize it’s hard because it isn’t mine to do. Or the path I’m walking down is tough walking and my steps keep sliding backwards, that’s when I get it. It isn’t my path to walk. But perhaps it is mine to walk along for a little bit.
But I get caught up in others, their ideas, their excitement and sometimes just their energy. I guess that’s what happens with the human condition. No human is ever fully sure of him or her self. It isn’t possible. And it’s those moments of doubt that let us explore things that aren’t really for us. The trick is to learn, to learn the signs and more importantly to learn a bit more about the person whose steps, dreams or expectations you are matching. Maybe that’s the way to getting to a more whole picture of the person and in turn becoming more wholly human.
And my father also used to say, if you go walking in a farmer’s field, sometimes it is better to just not ask questions and awakes look down. 😉