Can it really be that simple? Merely chance turns along the winding road of life? Each past decision putting you on a different road, heading towards a different set of circumstances, towards a different today? If you would have turned left instead of right would your life be different today? Different job? Different Mate? Different life? Yet those roads we’ve left untraveled with all their possibilities are gone now, forever unknown!
If your like me, life has taken you down many different winding roads with stop signs and detours all along the way. And Intersections not clearly marked as to which way to go. But you made your choices the best you could and the route you ended up taking has eventually led you to where you are today.
But what if you had chosen a different route?
THE ROADS UNTRAVELED
What if you had at one-point during your life, turned left, instead of right, would this of put you on a totally different road? A different path in life? Might this road also have led to a branching of another set of completely different roads. Ones with different choices to be made then the one’s you did face in the past?
Do the roads untraveled — lead somewhere else?
If retracing the exact route you’ve taken leads to where you are today? If the exact route you chose back then, with all its twists and turns and eventual choices leads you to being precisely here! — in this moment in time? Would a different route have taken you somewhere else?
Can it really be that simple? Our lives, merely chance turns along the winding road of life?
LIFE’S WINDING ROAD
We’re all familiar with the analogy of Life as “a long and winding road.” With many twists and turns, hills and valleys, representing the ups and downs of life. And all the interconnecting roads branching off to different routes representing the hard choices we must make along the way.
At times life can be hard and cruel. Sometimes it feels like your carrying it all by yourself, a heavy burden upon your shoulders. These times may occur as a direct result of bad choices, bad timing or even bad luck. Others are the result of personal tragedy, emotional loss, or the death of a loved one.
Sometimes life is hard and we must bear it’s unwanted burden.
For some of us, our road is more ending than beginning. We have traveled more than half-way. Although each of our road’s have been different and have led us to different experiences, different places, people and different lives; our travels have not been all that different!
Our journey’s began in much the same way and eventually will lead to the same final-ending. For we all will run out of road some day. But in-between? Well isn’t that where most of our life’s paths were chosen? Or perhaps chosen for us, in the many choices we’ve had to make during our bumpy, up and down journey.
Yet how eager we were to begin! To hit the road with a roar from our engines and a leap into the fast-lane. With not a care in the world or worry of what may lie ahead. Young and exuberant, fearless of the unknown. So little did we know! So little did we care?
During our travels there were open free-ways of smooth sailing, detours slowing us down and roller-coaster rides of emotion in-between. The high’s from the births of our children and the lows of our loved one’s departed. Such is this road of life that we must all travel, the good times and the bad.
At times we speed along unimpeded, life a fast yet joyous ride. Yet at other times we seem not to be moving at all? Troubled and worried minds halting any progress. But somehow we always manage to get back on-track, heading once again relentlessly towards our final destination. The end of our travel’s. The end of our road.
“Who climbs the mountain does not always climb. The winding road slants downward many a time; Yet each decent is higher than the last” — ELLA WHEELER WILCOX
So it is in the journey that we must take our moments from. For as we grow older and our final destination draws nearer, memories of the road that we have traveled — the good times and bad and all that there was in-between — is now all we have left.
Funny this, our road of life! Funny because when we were young and first set foot on it we were so impatient to see where it would lead us. Rushing head-long onto our road, hardly slowing at the winding turns. Laughing as we bolted over its bumps and potholes with nary a notice of the sheer drop at its edges. So eager for our journey to begin. This our road of life!
As we grew older and wiser, we became more careful! Experience now made us slow at the corners and brake for the potholes that we had come to know as trouble. Yet we are amazed to see how far we have traveled already and how much has changed since we first started out. How much “we” have changed! — How much our life has changed!
When we became older still and passed the half-way mark, now closer to the end than the beginning, our road’s ending nearing in sight; we seem to be moving faster, yet we have long-ago applied the brakes. More wanting to slow our progress and enjoy the scenic view than race to the end. We are eager no-more to find the end of our road. For It’s coming is all too soon!
Now, what journey we do have left, is not for what lies ahead, but for what we have already traveled and left behind. The memories, the people, the good times and all the wonders our life’s journey has so far given us.
So Yes! The road of life is all about the journey! Not about its rushed beginning’s or its final destination. If only we had known this from the very start! From the very beginning of our travels! Perhaps we would have taken more time to appreciate the little things in life that came our way on this our life’s grand tour?
Although the road we have traveled is our own, it has crossed paths with many others. With many different people who at that moment in time were traveling down their own personal roads. And so I wonder, have we been influenced, or have we influenced their path’s after our chance meetings? Could it be that we have been responsible in changing the paths of others? And they — our own?
We have made some very hard and emotional decisions along our way and seemingly trivial and unimportant ones as well. But what about the effects we have had on others? On our friends, family, perhaps even on strangers? Have we unknowingly been an influence on their paths as well?
“We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.”― Stephen King
What about a simple choice, like when to leave on a drive? What route to take? Put air in your low tire or do it later? Take the highway or go through the city? Drive drunk, tired or unfocused? Turn right or turn left on your road of life and different fates can be waiting.
If you have ever been in a car accident you know exactly what I’m talking about. Sometimes crossing paths at the wrong time and down to the exact seconds can be traumatizing or even life changing to all involved.
Think of the precise timing involved that leads to an accident. The chain of events that had to unfold to bring the drivers to the exact same place, at the exact same time! If just one driver had arrived late (or early) and by just a few seconds? Then perhaps — No accident!
If anywhere along your route, your arrival time (or theirs) was changed by: Traffic, or a traffic light, or leaving a few seconds earlier or later than you did that day, then again — no accident? And what about the other choices made that day? The speed of travel? The choices of routes?
Are Accidents Fate? Or a direct result of small, multiple choices?
YOU — WERE MADE BY CHOICES!
Here’s something to ponder regarding choices. How many different choices, by how many different people, had to be made in order for you to even be alive today? Your conception, your birth, was not only dependent on your parents meeting (crossing paths) but of their parents and their parents and their parents meeting!
Without even one of these incalculable number of events happening and in order — you would not be here!
And here’s another scary thought! If you hadn’t been conceived at the exact moment that you were? The exact second perhaps? Would you even be here today? Or would your parents of had, a different child? A daughter instead of a son, or vise-versa? A lawyer instead of a mechanic? Someone else — other than you?
Think of the many choices that led to you being born — as YOU!
The exact timing of trillions of little choices made in exact ordered sequence all made by others in the past and all leading up to that one moment of conception that allowed you to be here!
Isn’t that the true miracle of life! The fact that you — being you — are here at all? That you exist as you is truly an incredible roll of the dice! And against incredible odds!
We have had to make a lot of choices during our personal life’s journey. And for the most part, we’ve been in charge of our own path. Those long-past decisions we made, now mostly a done-deal. The results are all the people we know, our life-partner, our children, our friends. The life we are living at this very moment the direct results of these choices we’ve made in the past.
Life is a long and winding road and its Journey is what makes our paths unique! True, what’s done is done! But what isn’t done yet is our final choices. What road will you choose in the future? Will you turn right or turn left on the road ahead?
Perhaps now, we may think on these choices — just a little bit longer
“No one is ordinary, because every person carries the wisdom of his own unique path!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan