If you’ve ever had even a budding interest in writing or film, you’ve likely come across The Hero’s Journey. ICYMI: it’s the weather-beaten path that all heroes — whether it’s Luke Skywalker or Ariel — walk with their grand destiny up for grabs if they master the many challenges along the way. While you may not be aware of The Hero’s Journey in name, you are probably aware of the impact of what I consider its crude legacy, namely, the misinformation that there are ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ paths. (Of course, I’m not talking about very obvious right or wrong decisions, but the more nebulous ones.)
My theory is that whether it’s a career, a life change, or even an outfit – the ‘right one’ is the one we decide is right — until it isn’t, and then we choose again, slightly wiser and better for it. We are blessed or condemned to choose forever, depending on our disposition. The only thing to prize is choosing; as long as we do it honestly and to the best of our ability, the rest will work out along the way.
This means we have to commit to a life of walking before the bridge appears. However, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t walk. This means that we have to perpetually be willing to act based on the information we have, but it also means we can abandon the idea that actions must be based on solid ideas of universal ‘rightness’ when they can instead be based on something far more intimate — what’s right for me right now. I’m not championing hedonism, but rather real honesty with oneself, real questioning, and willingness to listen to yourself when you wonder: what do I really want?
I came across this Deepak Chopra quote that eloquently sums up this sentiment, which I have seen with evidence in my own life.(Image adapted from @subliming.jpg)
As for me, right now, I couldn’t write this and then say I have a view of my own grand path. Instead, I’m choosing to keep trying every day. I’ve realized it can feel like I’ve hardly achieved anything in a month, but if I focus on each day, each pocket of time, and each interaction, I can find the moments I stretch myself. I can find the moments where I question my motives, and I’m better for it. I can find the moments where I choose to remember everyone has noble intentions, just like me. And in those moments of choice, I find myself, and I like what I’ve found, and that feels right for now.