I’ve always approached challenges as if they are “succeed” or “fail”–no middle ground, no grey area, no shades of interpretation or even phases of development. There’s always “where I am now”, and “where I want to be”. And the difference between the two is a steep precipice that I can only overcome by flying.
The problem is, people can’t fly. For some reason I’ve have to learn this over and over, envisioning the end result and hurling myself off the cliff in the hopes that I’ll figure out how to become airborne. Usually I get somewhere close to where I was headed, but banged up, bruised and generally disillusioned about the whole affair.
Over the last few months I’ve had no choice but to learn how to be patient, and see each small daily (or weekly) development as slow, steady progress toward a goal that will be worth it. Each step creates a new foothold in a rock face that isn’t sheer, but only steep, and doesn’t really go in any direction. It doesn’t go up, it doesn’t go down, it just goes . . . there.
And here’s the thing I’ve had so much trouble resolving in my head: There is no end point. You’re never going to be finished. And there’s really nothing wrong with that. I mean, who wants to be finished? What do you do then? Alright, I’m done! Where’s my prize?
I’m ok with being a constant work in progress, shuffling across unsteady ground, looking for the next solid place to rest and take stock. I don’t have a carefully charted plan (gasp). Each step forward–or sometimes back–I’m learning new things and remaining open to anything else that might come along. Maybe that “something else” will lead me off the path I thought I was on, and that’s fine too.
As long as I keep navigating a trail that I’ve chosen, it will always lead me somewhere I would like to be.