Heard of crossroads? These are “road signposts” that tell you where each road leads to. You come to that junction, and if you want to proceed you have to make up your mind as to which road you want to follow.
I consider this as a symbol of some crucial point in one’s life when one has to make a decision: this way or that? Which place, which school, what course, which career? Life goes on like this!
I feel that at almost every moment of life, we are at a crossroad. We have to keep making decisions continually, seemingly insignificant ones and really important ones. We have choices before us and we have to choose between them. Life is never a straight path!
Another metaphor explains life as ‘unravelling’ — like unrolling a carpet. You see its complete design only when it is fully unrolled. Or climbing mountains: you climb one range and then you see another one ahead of you!
Isn’t that what makes life such a wonderful, enriching and thrilling experience, one that keeps us on our toes, curious and eager about another tomorrow? There is always the unexpected, the unforeseen opportunity. Take it or leave it! It may never come again.
That can make life exciting, and unpredictable too! In life, there are tremendous possibilities. But we have to make our choices. Inevitably we come to those crossroads. This may paralyze us with fear, insecurity, worry … with so many ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’!
As a child, I loved to watch the birds flying — they seemed to do it so gracefully, effortlessly, against the backdrop of a blue cloudless sky. That, I thought, was a perfect image of freedom. Fly where you will, when you will, as you will, in the infinity of space… no one to hinder you, or chase you or quarrel with you!
As I grew up, I realized how fettered we really are, how unprepared we are to make choices on our own. We seek to please, we beg for praise and approval. We slink away from those who criticize us or find fault with us. We go with the crowd, yielding to peer-pressure. We prefer to be safe and comfortable in our own cocoons. But little is achieved that way!
In the meantime, precious opportunities flow by. Study these openings carefully. Careers, hobbies, places, new ventures… get all the information you can. The world is evolving fast. New courses are available to train you for new challenges. Get help from your mentors. Know your strengths, cultivate your talents. Be prepared to take calculated risks, count the costs. Discover the various avenues open to you. Where would you feel most at home; most yourself?
Enter into your inner self; feel the tugging of your heart. What do you really want in life? What is life offering you at this moment? And then, finally, muster up courage and take the plunge. These are your skies. Fly into those endless blue skies! You will never fully see the vast horizons that are awaiting you and opening up for you spontaneously. Be your best, give your best.
Esme Da Cunha, FDCC, is a member of the Congregation of the Canossian Sisters, and presently resides at Allahabad. She taught Physics for many years at St Joseph’s College for Women, Alleppey (Kerala). She loves writing, particularly on youth-related topics.