There is a quote that I recently stumbled upon that struck a chord with me.
“One day, whether you are 14, 28 or 65,
you will stumble upon someone who will start a fire in you that cannot die.
However, the saddest, most awful truth you will ever come to find––
is they are not always with whom we spend our lives”
― Beau Taplin, Hunting Season
It haunts me. I read it aloud and my heart aches. Not because I’m scared of losing someone in the future but, who I left in the past.
How can we ever be sure we are doing the right thing or choosing the right path?
The truth is, we don’t know.
I traveled alone for a long time before coming to my first fork in the road. My path was rocky, shaded, and empty. This new path came out of nowhere. It was smooth and I could see the light radiating down the path. The choice was simple and I would go towards the light.
As I continued forward, it was different. Everything was a different version of normal. In return, making me abnormal. Determined to stay the course, I had to change. I had to adapt to the elements. Before I knew it, my once perfect path became rigid, dirty, and dark. The light no longer shined. It began to grow colder. Not to long after the cold set in, it frosted over.
My path became an eternal winter. It was covered in uncertainty and fog, which only allowed me to see a few feet ahead. I continued. Behind the wall of foggy, uncertainty could be the light I had known and loved. I was dedicated to my path.
As I travel further into the fog, I caught a clearing from the corner of my eye. My heart was heavy. I slowly made my way to the clearing. The fog let up and I could see once again. As, I walked further into the clearing, I saw another path across the way.
It wasn’t beaming with sun light, it wasn’t screaming for attention, it was normal. It was appealing. I found myself subconsciously walking towards the path. It drew me in. I wanted to know more. As I got closer to the path I noticed that it was guarded and closed off. I would have to break through to continue my journey.
Where did the path lead? I wanted to know. I desperately, and whole –heartedly, wanted to go down this path.
There I was standing face to face with my new path. I was ready. Looking at the path now that I was closer, it wasn’t as guarded as it once appeared.
I began to walk down the path. A few steps in, the path turned and I could no longer see what was in front of me. Just as scared, lost, and confused as I was before. I didn’t know what was to come.
I ran as fast as I could back to clearing.
I sat facing my old path.
I didn’t know where either path would go.
Would it be as cold as I remembered?
Time would tell.
There isn’t a single day where I don’t think about the other path. It haunts me. I could have been happy. I could have loved it.
I could have loved him.
I could have.
I know it.