Our futures can at times seem so uncertain and terrifying. If only we had that magical fluorescent brick path to guide our feet towards happiness and fulfillment. I wished (and still sometimes do) that it was possible to catch a glimpse of what my life will look like in a year, five years, fifty. Will I still be here? Who will I be with? What will I be doing?
But I can't.
There is no yellow brick or crystal ball or etchings in our palm that show us the future. We barely even have a road. It so often feels overgrown, full of stones, and gravel, and dust. Sometimes we diverge into the woods and a few living trees knock us around, beating us with apples - the proverbial fruit reminding us that the world is broken. And it's hostile out there. Sometimes it's hard not to lose hope when earthquakes kill thousands, pivotal races turn into fear-stricken funeral processions and children are no longer safe in school. The hardest part is deciding who you will link arm and arm with to skip into your future. Will that person someday cower in fear of some unexpected obstacle? Will they rust up and seize, frozen in a storm?
Or will the person you choose lack the foresight to help you determine the right path to take, their brains only made up of straw? You can only ask yourself if you are prepared to carry with you the oil to sooth frozen souls, the strength and tools to stitch them back together when they have been dropped and trampled, and the robe of assurance that you do not need to be protected but can also be the protector. Somewhere, over the rainbow, there is a place to try ourselves out – take a trip, make a move, set out into the unknown. Only then will we be able to figure out if there really is “no place like home”.
We only get one try (unless, of course you're Buddhist, and then, well, good luck with your own personal Groundhog Day). It's a tight rope walk, teetering between the urge to make sure it's "meaningful" and the reminder to not take yourself so seriously. But at the end of the day, I think it is just fine to skip along, wide-eyed and naive to what could happen and hopeful for what might.