Who can say where the road goes,
Where the day flows,
Thus begins a lovely, calming song by Enya. Finding oneself at crossroads on the road or in life is anything but calm. Crossroads tend to cause anxiety, indecision, or confusion.
I’m quite happy to drive in the countryside and see where the road takes me — on those occasions when driving and wandering are the goal — not getting someplace on time. I’ve often found some marvelous country lanes, quaint villages, and pastoral settings when driving in England and Scotland. When I come to a crossroads, I go with instinct, or perhaps the name of a village beckons me, or that I recall from the map . I’m confident that I will find my way “home”, eventually.
I have no sense of direction, and with the widespread usage of GPS technology in cars, there’s seldom much mystery any more or following one’s instincts.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had GPS for the crossroads in our lives. How difficult it can be to not know what direction to go when something is important, possibly life-changing. Most people have experienced how difficult it is to know which direction to take when a choice has to be made. It’s happened to me often during my 68 years. Some things are really big life choices.
I’ll never know if I made “right” decisions at some of my past crossroads, but I think I’d know if they were really bad. With the best information and intentions, I made those choices, often with self-doubt. Still, the temptation is to wonder “what-if”. In fact, some of the “bad” decisions turned us around and made us more content knowing that the one path was not leading in the right direction. Mistakes teach, even if the lesson sometimes stings, or causes some back-stepping.
Queen Latifah, though not a philosopher, has often changed the direction her life has taken. She says, “How many crossroads are you allowed to have in life? I seem to have a lot of crossroads. I think maybe I crossed back across the same road too often.” Yep, I think that can happen!
Live and learn, and know that few choices are perfect; they’re just the best you can do at the crossroads.