Big changes. Everybody goes through one from time to time, or so we say. But what does your life look like before a big change? You're in cruise control. You're coasting. You're conserving your energy. You're trying to enjoy the scenery. You're allowing yourself to imagine how it would feel to drive on other roads. When you do drive on other roads, you're labeling the experience "a vacation," or "a trip," or "a break," or even an experiment. But all these roads take you back to where you started.
Big changes must be different than investigating a scenic detour back to your life. Doubtless, you've been following I-70 for too long, but sometimes you wonder what would happen if you went the other way entirely. One day you find yourself longing to steer your vehicle away from Exit 32, plow forward on 15 toward the Great White North. That would be a huge change. Cataclysmic. Disastrous. Absolutely wonderful.
Of course you're not going to take 15-N right now, not yet, you need to make your exit, Exit 32. But you will, one day. And soon, you tell yourself, because you can feel the truth inside you. Exit 32 and the comfortable roads that followed were nice, limited of course, but important; you needed to learn those roads before you could hear the sounds of the Real Road, the Road you were meant to take. All that is over, now. You've seen the light, you've heard the word. You'll never be the same, again - you know that much, if you know anything. All you need to do now is find yourself a new map, and then you'll be on your way.
You're remembering with fondness all those other monumental new roads you've taken in your life. Those were frightening, exciting times. Freeing. Startling. Wonderful.
Unfortunately, you're having a hard time finding a map of 15-N. You've seen such maps before, you're sure about that, but for some reason you can't find one right now. You're feeling a little aggravated about that, too, now that you're rearing to go and it seems like obstacles are doing their best to set up camp in front of you. But you're not going to be turned away from your purpose. So what if it takes longer than you'd hoped? Come to think of it, it's probably for the best to take your time. You want to be fully awake, fully conscious, fully ready for the day you find that map and ride 15-N directly to your destiny.
You're laying the seeds of plans everywhere. That Old Life of yours has become more imaginary than the one that's just around the corner: the New Life. And your New Life is so exciting! It almost makes you feel guilty, to be leaving your tired Old Life behind. It almost feels like you're abandoning all those static roads. No, you need to find that map for 15-N before you leave so you can leave a copy of the map behind. You won't need to feel guilty, then. Those people you leave behind can use the map when they are ready.
But you cannot find that map! Maybe there is no map. Maybe you need to design one yourself, though that makes you nervous. What if you get it wrong? What if you think you're heading to the Great White North but you're only doing loops around Omaha? How will you even know when you've made it to the Great White North? And what if you discover that your new thong bikini is useless in the Great White North? Well, you certainly wouldn't want to stay any place where your new thong bikini isn't welcome.
What if you're wrong? You're beginning to realize that altogether too much was happening in your Old Life for you really to find your New Life. Crazy: 15-N? Does 15-N even go to the Great White North? How could you let yourself become so entranced by some fantasy Road, that you lost all sense of reason? Wouldn't it have made more sense to try a couple of test roads before you let yourself get so excited? Wouldn't it be wise to drive along 15-N for a few minutes, just to see how smooth the pavement feels under your tires; after, you could just turn the wheel and drive back, just in time to return to trusty old Exit 32. That's the best way, probably, until the map you're looking for is found.
When you notice 15-N, when that road catches your attention, that's the Beginning. There is no other beginning. The rest of your life is the Transition and it doesn't matter in the slightest whether you reach the Great White North or not. Or, didn't you know that?
Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation.
The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.
But you must wager. It is not optional. You are embarked.
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