The bitter part of the sweetness of life is made of bad decisions and laced with good intentions. It is part of the mystery: you make a choice and live with it, sure that you one day will wind up somewhere, hoping only that your end is as close as possible to where you planned it to be. Dreamers and fools think that it will happen just as they imagine it will, but the reality is that it very rarely is so simple. Life never takes a straight path to death, and as such the best laid plans are, indeed, still plans based on the hopes and aspirations you think you want, are sure you want – only to discover that when the day is done, it was nothing like you imagined it would be. It’s the journey that makes the struggle sweet, the experience that makes life and love and labor a thing of joy.
There’s simply no accounting for change. Like a river that flows and tumbles on its way to the ocean, change never pauses, always pushing forward to the ocean with violent grace and single-minded determination. You can jump in and let it carry you along, and live in the current of the world, or you can stand on the side and watch it pass, content in your place and time, happy to watch the river flow along without you. You can stick a toe in the water, pull it out, and debate whether or not it’s too cold to slide into the current, wanting to but afraid to all at the same time, never sure, non-committal and too scared to make a decision, to take a stand and either build your house along the side, or jump in and see where the water takes you. That is the great unknown; that is your defining moment.
Jump in, or stay out. The water is cold, and dark, the current strong, and the only thing you know for sure is that on its way, the river carries with it only the rocks and pebbles it can hold, discarding the old and picking up new at each bend, leaving behind the large and heavy boulders as markers to where the river flowed.