Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The fork in the road

When you've been on a journey for a while .. picture this, cycling along a large remote road, with enough food and water to sustain you and plenty of trees and springs nearby. You carry on going, not entirely sure where you're going but you have been assured that if you 'keep going', you will find your way to where you want to you, which is an area of pure paradise.

You keep going, on a long straight road, which is fairly barren in parts but the trees keep producing fruit and crops. You have now travelled for a while, a bit exhausted but still strong in spirit. The scenery is becoming more and more barren. The trees and springs that produce the food and water are becoming less frequent. Maybe, just maybe, you're heading towards a desert.

The nearest I can get to a desert ha. 
Your worst fears are realised. You head into a desert. You cannot turn back now, you have come so far.
There is no food or water to be found. All you have is what's left in your bag, which will only keep you going for a limited period of time. The phrase 'trust and have faith' has been drummed into your head on numerous occasions. 'Keep going' is another one.

After walking for a little while, you come to a fork in the road. One pathway veers off to the left and you can't see too far ahead of it. The other pathway carries straight on, you can see quite far in front of you and the desert goes on ..

Okay, so hopefully I have whetted your appetite with this little story. How does this relate to life? Well how many of you have been walking on the path of life for many years, without seeming to get very far, but trying your best to live and be the best you can, without really knowing where you are going but 'trusting' that things are going to change. And then, when you think you have done enough for things to really start getting better, things seem to get worse.

The 'desert' experience is something that we all go through. Where you are not where you would like to be and not sure where you are going. Life is just a road of uncertainty. Whatever you try and do, nothing seems to budge.

How is uncertainty showing up for me, personally, right now? (In case you're interested).

I am living in a part of town which I loathe and cannot wait to get out. Location is important to me, and I want to live somewhere nicer. I live in Leeds. Most places north of Leeds are lovely. I can escape in December, I am hoping for somewhere nice, preferably either near Wetherby or Harrogate or the Yorkshire Dales, but the old stories of 'you don't have enough money or job security' are playing in my head.

Possibly the most uncertain part of my life right now, is career. I am doing a job solely to pay the bills but it is wearing me out. I get frustrated and resentful with the system and sometimes with myself, and don't really know what to do next. My job may finish at the end of February and I'm thinking 'I really need to get some plans sorted before then', but struggling with the motivation to do it, possibly due to fear of failure.

As you may realise if you have been following my blog for a while, I have had a lot of pain in the area of love, or rather the lack of it. I must say that things are starting to shift a bit, and I'm beginning to open my heart and face some stuff, which is good. But it has taken a long time for me to get to this point. I need to be patient with myself.

Overall, I just feel a bit of 'nothingness' at the moment. And it's easy to think 'Things will never change, I've been trying for so long'. Well, sometimes you need to stop trying too hard. And also stop being attached to outcomes. My level of attachment to outcomes has been ridiculous, particularly when I wanted a relationship to magically happen, but also in wishing that things would change with work. And other things that I hoped would help me escape the unhappiness I was feeling.


So back to the post title. When you're at the place where things seem barren and you don't know where you're going .. there are two ways you can go. One is to get frustrated, despondent and believe that life has it in for you. And who hasn't done that at times. If you do that, you'll carry on along the same road and become more and more frustrated with life. But it is a familiar road and sometimes we human beings go for what is familiar, where we have some idea, even if it doesn't lead us very far. Yes, sometimes the comfort zone is not a great place, but we humans can be so enticed by it.

The other road is the unknown road .. where there are no guarantees that things will get 'better'. The road of unfamiliarity, where you take one step at a time. You decide to go on this road with an open mind, having recognized that life sometimes leads you to a place where you feel like nothing is happening, where you can't force things to get any better, where you just have to say 'Okay, I don't really know what to do at present, but I trust and I choose to be open minded and open hearted'.

And so you choose not to stay stuck in the desert, but to walk on the road of unfamiliarity, which you know deep down will not be an easy road to travel .. but something in you knows that it will be worth it. You start walking on that road. The road is foggy to start with. You see some trees again. Ahh this is great, you think, some food to sustain me. There are some fellow travellers on this road, and you wonder where they came from. Some of them are coming back the other way, and you wonder why. Did the road become so difficult that they had to turn back? The road becomes foggy. You see a restaurant for travellers on the side of the road. You stop there just to relax for a bit as the road has been tough.

Once you leave the restaurant, you carry on the road. The road is not straight, you can never see too far ahead. But you have chosen to carry on, because you know you have to. You cannot turn back, even when you feel like doing so.

Hope you enjoyed reading this. This post didn't turn out quite like I expected :) I believe that it is vital to have an open mind and open heart. I may continue with this journey in another blog post.


All photos on this blog post were taken at Thruscross in North Yorkshire. 


  1. Great blog post Andy, and yes the unknown is an interesting road to walk.

  2. Thanks Kelly, I really enjoyed writing it .. I think I rather enjoy writing a bit of fiction from time to time :)


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