This morning after writing in my morning journal and feeling rather frustrated with my life, I donned my snowshoes and headed out for my first walk in the bush this winter.
It is a lovely day, minus 11 degrees C; not too cold for this time of year with the promise of sunshine. I headed out through my back yard onto the property that butts up against my neighbour’s and followed a path that he had groomed with the snowmobile and headed on my way. Only as I launched onto the path, it forked and I took the trail that looked familiar to me and headed further into the bush.
It became clearer as time passed, that I didn’t know where I was going at all. Nothing looked familiar to me. I stopped to take a few pictures of the white blanketed landscape, admired the sunlight glancing through the treetops, and started on my way.
The further I pressed on, the more unfamiliar my surroundings became and I had to admit that for the first time in years on this property, I was getting lost. Yes, me who is more at home in the bush than surrounded by people in a busy metropolis. The further I pressed on, there were more and more trails, forks in the road to choose...which direction would I take, where on earth was I going?
I became thoughtful as I pondered that not only did I find it hard to make a decision on where I was going in the bush, I was lost in my life as well.
I wondered about my decisions over the past few years, the long time marriage I ended, the hurt and anger I felt over disappointments. Just as I kept coming to more forks, more paths that were unfamiliar, I was finding that my life was becoming more and more distant and unfamiliar as well.
Where was I going, and how did I get here? Each trail I took was taking me further and further from home and the familiar...just as my life was doing.
The marriage I ended was familiar and safe...my husband a faithful provider, hard worker. Yes I felt lonely and unhappy but had I chosen the right thing? I found that I had run from my pain, and myself...and now I had run out of steam...I was forced to look at myself and my choices.
What did I want out of life, what was I looking for? I had to admit to myself after taking trail after trail that I was getting further from home and still didn’t know where I was, so I decided to backtrack and follow my tracks. In life, do we get to do that? Do we get second chances or are we doomed to be lost souls wandering around in circles? Do we get to find our way home?
My husband has since remarried and made a new life for himself. I think he is better off. We are now able to talk to each other and deal with the day-to-day parenting challenges and guide my son. We have both grown.
I have become more independent which is what I craved, but I am still lost. Could I have found my way in my marriage? Could I have managed to fulfill my needs had I stayed? These are questions I suppose won’t get answered any time soon.
The further I went along the trails I was following the more I had to finally admit it was time to turn around and follow my tracks home. I was not going to find my way today. This was hard for me to admit to...and I guess the same goes for my life.
At times I feel I did the right thing, and then I feel panic that I didn’t. Whatever the decision, I can’t go back now; I have to keep going forward. The way is unfamiliar to me, and at times really scary. I get very lonely and I’ve lost my family. We have had to re-invent ourselves, no easy task. I have heard that the amount of single people out there now outnumber those that are married. I wonder if marriage is a dying practice.
I was lost in thought my whole journey back and confess I stopped enjoying my walk. My sight was turned inward now and I was missing the scenery around me. Nothing looked familiar to me until I was almost home.
I found when I reached the beginning of my journey that I had actually taken the wrong trail. I took a path that I thought looked like the right one but it was actually the wrong one. Now I’m wondering if I have taken the wrong path in my life as well.
Hindsight is 20-20 as the saying goes. I don’t know. All I can do is keep going and make the best of the choices that I have made, and live my life to the best of my ability. For those of you that are struggling, and we all do, I tip my hat to you, and wish you the very best in whatever you choose and the path you take.