03 October 2009

Where is this path leading us?

"Where are we going? Where, I might write, is this path leading us?"*

Is there an answer to this question? Isn't the answer to this question one we all secretly fear, the one that keeps us up at night? And why can I only seem to answer it with more questions?

I'll apply it to my own life to give it some definition: Where am I going? Where is this path leading me?

I go to school. I guess, as an English Editing & Publishing major with a minor in Creative Writing, you could say this "path" of my studies is going to lead me to a career in writing--at least that's where I'm aiming. I hope to one day have published works, and be in charge, myself, of publishing other people's works. Am I on the right path? I sincerely hope so, but I will only find out later on, further down this path.

I practice yoga. Where am I headed in my practice? I spent the last year getting to know the deeper side of my soul, and yoga allowed me to reveal that part of me. Where am I headed now? Or, you might ask, why do I practice? Aside from this obvious self-realizational aspects, I'm planning to one day teach yoga--I guess I hope my path leads me to teaching a mean Ashtanga-based class.

I look at my relationships--my old friends that I still cling to. Where are we going? We're all off on our own paths, but we still connect and reconnect every chance we get. We still talk, we still write, we're still connected. We've gone to severe lengths to stay this way. Why? Because I guess what we have is not worth losing.

Then I look at my new friendships. Where are we going? And, is it too early to tell? We spend time together, covering the general specifics--Where are you from? What's your major? Where are you going, where have you been? (This is not supposed to be a reference to a Joyce Carol Oates Story, the title just happens to fit right in here). We seek what we think we need. For instance, I seek laughter, I seek understanding, I seek fun. I am fulfilled in all three areas by the friends I've made thus far, and yet I continue to expand my horizons.

And then there's You (and You know who You are). And we've been here, on this path, for years now. Our paths intertwine, our paths separate--then they intertwine once more. I ask the age-old question: Where are we going? Where, I might write, is this path leading us? I have no answer, except this: I hope our paths stay aligned like this for a long, long time--don't we finally deserve it?

Where are we going? It's our job to find out.

*Reference to Ethan Canin's opening lines of We Are Nighttime Travelers

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