Begin Anywhere

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Does it really matter where you start? Not really. Does it matter if you fail? Not really. What matters is that you pick a path, any path, and start walking. If you don’t like what you see on that path, you change direction. And keep walking. You make hundreds of little adjustments over the years, corrections when you feel you are off-course or just bored. You accomplish some things and you have an interesting life. Are you gradually approaching “where you’re supposed to be?” Oh, please. What you can hope for are some wonderful moments (or months) when everything is perfect, the stars align, and life is good. If you pay attention, you get better at deciding which way to turn, so you have more glorious moments. And then, yes, you do end up where you are supposed to be — at the end.

And here is the way I would say it to my daughter: Begin Anywhere. It doesn’t matter where. Keep in mind who you are, what your values and passions are. Use them to make your daily decisions. Then see where your path takes you.

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3 responses »

  1. Rae this is the best advice ever! Sort of like Nike’s “just do it!”. I remember times in my youth where I was nearly frozen by judging and wondering if this was the right thing to do, what my parents would think, and a million other things. That would be my only regret – time wasted, experience lost. What wonderful words of advice.

    • Hi, Mary. Thanks for the comments.

      Tell me more about being nearly frozen by judging & wondering whether if something was the right thing to do. I felt the same way, and think maybe I had some mistaken beliefs underlying all of that. I wonder how yours compare.

      For example, I believed that everyone had a “right” career — some work that person should be doing. The trick was to figure out what it was. Should I “be” a psychologist, a lawyer, a systems analyst, a restaurant owner? The effects: guilt over not being able to “stick with” anything; regret over lost opportunities as the years went by; shame about squandered potential; wasted time looking for the “right” career. In retrospect I see how crazy that is. I was looking for the box (one of the standard job categories on the Labor Department list) I belonged in, and of course I don’t belong in a box. This is a life, not a career. What was I thinking?

      • Exactly! Trying to find some perfect fit of a career that would resonate, that would make me feel I belonged. Of course some employers and professions are such a bad fit that we have to leave, but mostly as the garden saying goes “we should bloom where we’re planted”. Good for us we found it out while there’s still some tread on our crosstrainers!

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