by Melissa Truman
It seems to me that the colder the season, the more I reflect on my life.
We all have those times where we come to terms with the way things are in our lives. Winter is that for me.
Anyone who knows me on a personal level can tell you that I love to spend my time in the great outdoors and I rarely ever turn down an adventure into the woods.
On occasion, I like to take some time out from adventuring in the woods and instead venture into the world of books. One of my favorite works of literature is Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Basically, Thoreau just up and moves to the woods because he feels like it and lives on his own for 2 years. Walden is his thoughts, his opinions, his own coming to terms with himself and the direction of his life.
There is a chapter in Walden appropriately named “Where I lived, and What I Lived For”. Within this chapter, Thoreau says something that always causes me to do a double take on my life.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
Living “deliberately” may not be moving miles into the woods, building your own house, and living off the land. It certainly doesn’t look like that for everyone (although that would be pretty cool). The point is that you don’t miss your life.
Life doesn’t start when you finish your degree or when you make a New Year’s resolution, when you get married, or when you have kids. It’s happening right now. If you get caught up in the monotony of the 9-5 or the stack of bills on your kitchen table, you could miss it.
So when you’re inside taking shelter from the snow and cold weather, take some time to honestly look at your life. Is this what you had envisioned for yourself? Is this the right degree for you, do you need to make some career goal changes? It’s alright to not have all the answers; I definitely don’t.
Just remember who you are and why you started out on the path you’re on. You may have just lost track of it, but there was a reason. You have the opportunity to get back to the start and choose your path.
I heard that there’s two roads diverged in a yellow wood somewhere.
This winter it’s your choice.
Image photographed by Melissa Truman