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Autumn mornings filled with hot coffee, doodle hearts, weeping sighs and introspection. Empty parking lots and crisp autumn air. A nomad office space and a forever-unsettling tapestry of thoughts.

She lived and relived her dream a thousand times. And projected her future a thousand times more. The “One day, I will….” list, started growing and growing until one notebook wasn’t enough anymore. Plans piled up, one dream was born after another and projects waited around the corner. In the meantime, life went on. Daydreaming was part of everyday activity, but living the present moment – unfortunately was not. Tomorrows turned into yesterdays, next month turned into last month. “So much wasted time”, she thought. “What is wrong with me? I have this great dream in the palm of my hand, waiting to start its journey and I, as an overprotective mother, don’t allow it to spread its wings and fly.”

She sat down for a minute, with her faithful notebook by her side, scribbling whatever came to mind. A messy bundle of confusion, fear and an unstoppable flood of questions. “What if they will hate my work?”, “What if it’s dull and uninteresting?”, “What if putting myself out there will only bring embarrassment and disappointment?”.

We all do it sometimes: we find the dream job, the dream guy, the next best thing and after a brief moment of pure enthusiasm and unleashed joy, we are taken aback by an avalanche of self-sabotaging questions. “What if I fail?”, “What if I am not good/smart/creative enough?”, “Who am I to be living this or that?”.

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Out of the blue, she remembered a trick one of her professors taught her ages ago, when she was still a student. In order to add some detachment and objectivity to a problem, one should have an imaginative discussion en tête-à-tête with his projected 80-years old self. So she asked her wiser, more life-experienced, older self what to do and how to act on this matter that’s been bugging her for days.

And in an instant of enlightenment and divine inspiration, her older self told her to live her dream. To go for it and to forget everything else. “Step into who you really are. Stay connected to yourself and allow yourself to be seen and heard. Your dream is yours alone. You own it, so you make it happen.”

The 80-years old, gentle, kind-hearted granny was right. We are not given a dream to keep it in silence, solitude or in the dark. We are not dream depositories – we are dream creators and dream support systems. We, the owners, are the ones to turn them into reality and to give them substance and legitimacy to resist the test of time, of people and of life.

The road not taken is the least-chosen path we take in life. The dive into the unknown, unlived, unfamiliar scenery- it’s scary and confusing. Mistakes, challenges and obstacles are inevitable, so are the naysayers and the pessimists, but once we decide to honour ourselves and our dreams, we understand that our heart’s calling is always the best choice of all. When you choose to live your dream, to take full ownership of it, you discover that other people are on their way too. The road not taken isn’t a lonely road: it’s just a rite of passage, which we all pursue, on our way to becoming or admitting who we truly are.

 

*Title inspired by Robert Frost’s Poem

** Photos via Feaverish Photography