“The path of least resistance is what makes rivers run crooked.”
Elbert Hubbard – American editor, publisher and writer, 1856-1915 (quote from thinkexist.com)
I’m pretty sure this quote was meant for a different ideal altogether, but it made me think of life goals and destiny. I think people, like rivers, are all meant to reach a destination. This destination, our life calling, our destiny, is like the ocean – it’s much deeper than we can ever fathom, it’s all encompassing, and it brings all of us together. There are the lucky few who find this destiny and head straight for it like rapids through the mountains, unstoppable. Yet most of us, though we already have a good sense of this destiny, get distracted because there are too many bills to pay, mouths to feed, or debts to reconcile. So instead of following their life’s calling, they devise temporary solutions to their problems by settling for lifestyles that don’t really fit them, relationships that aren’t healthy, jobs they don’t really like. Then the unsuitable lifestyles, the unhealthy relationships and the meaningless jobs become their reality. Sooner than they know it, they’ve spent their whole lives settling, like rivers growing sluggish and eventually going dry. It’s not uncommon, but I can’t think of anything more miserable.
I come alive at night. I come home to teach my voice students how to sing. Some of them are brilliant, singing in operas at the age of 10 or getting hired to sing in cruise lines without a minute of performing experience. Some of them are just beginning their musical adventure, and don’t yet have the courage to sing louder than a whimpering teacup Yorkie. It doesn’t really matter how good or bad they are. All I know is I come home from work every single day, and I come alive because of them. The downside to this is I usually spend at least 10 hours a day working; 8 hours doing work that pays my bills, and 1-2 hours doing work that I love. It’s not easy, but I can’t think of any other way to live.
We all have to do something to keep us moving in the direction of our “ocean”. There is a bigger picture for all of us, a deeper purpose. Sometimes we know of its existence because we are hopeful. Sometimes we are aware of it because we are despairing. Either way, if we attune ourselves enough to our hearts, we will find that there is a path meant for us to follow that will take us to that wonderful abyss, in the depths of which we are made meaningful and connected with each other. From one dreamer to another, I encourage you not to find your path, but to make it. Struggle, fight and barrel your way through it. If my destiny is in fact anything like the ocean, I’m sure there’s much more to it than I can fit in a lifetime. It’s not that far off anymore, but I can’t get there soon enough.