The Fork

Have you ever stared at a person with obvious tattoos? You know the ones. Their body art is placed in such a way that it requires a second look.

Or how about the person that wears the most up-to-date and obviously expensive clothes? They sweep into a room without maintaining eye contact with anyone.

There are loud talkers and laughers. Instagram and SNAP addicts who must post every event from the food they eat, the people they are with, or even their pets.

You wouldn’t be living in 2017 if you didn’t join in. I do admire my friends who have chosen not to be a part of social media. I feel they are comfortable with themselves enough to stay in their lane. They get news the old fashioned way, and in some cases, their resolve should be valued.

The thing is even the non-media people are seeking significance through the very fact that they won’t publish on-line. It sets them apart. They are above it.

There have been many stages in my life. The college student, the young teacher, a wife, a mom, an ex-wife, a single woman, a business director are all roles I have played.

In each of these things, I think, is a drive for significance. A need for definition of who we are.

Who doesn’t like to be told they have done well?

Who doesn’t appreciate the love of friends and colleagues?

In the current phase of my life, I am finding my significance, not so much in the busyness of life, but in the contentment of reflection. Watching my children thrive in their own lives, as well as my nieces and nephews who, as young adults, are navigating through stops and starts and the twists and turns that life throws at them. They are in the young adult stage now. Their stage in life is fresh and exciting. So much is ahead,

We are shaped, as humans, by what makes us feel good. Unfortunately, sometimes, it is wrought with bad decisions, substance abuse, emotional distance, fear of taking a chance, or the willingness to settle for less.

All of us have faced the fork in road.

Lucky people choose the correct path the first time. But in reality, we step out, not knowing if the path we took was the right one for us.

I have good news.

There is more than one fork! There will so many paths that branch off that main one. Think of your life as the Mississippi River. The tributaries that branch from it are all possible choices. Some lead to dead ends, while others branch to feed into bigger places and eventually make it to the ocean.

Some significance seekers will be the ones navigating on the larger rivers. They will swell and ebb and flow with the whole world watching them flood banks along the way. Other searchers, preferring to be less obvious, will be the skinny little off shoots of water that look like they will never become any larger…but will reach the ocean, nonetheless.

Whichever route you choose, make it be the one you want to pursue and not the one someone else steers you toward. Choose to me enough for yourself.

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