Can I Have A Road Map To Life? Please.

How do we know when we reach our end? How do we know when we should change our strategy? Try something different? Look at life in a different way than we ever have? When do we let the small voices in our heads, quietly encouraging us to look elsewhere, have a real say? How do we know when it’s time to re-frame the problem and shift our perspective? How do we identify a time and place that is actually a defining moment, a crossroads of sorts? How do we know what the best past forward is, once we realize our idealized best path forward is no longer an option? When we are staring at a fork in the road, how do we know which way to go?

This is such an individual choice, a choice to be made uniquely between two partners, or single individuals. But, how in the world do we know when we should shift our approach, and how do we even start?

Today I’m thinking about our losses and our path to parenthood. The road we’ve walked in the last few years, the moments of calm, the good and the bad, and the 20141203 - Navigating The Most Difficult Road I've Ever Walkedunexpected twists and turns. Logically, I can map out all of choices, and I could do it with a pretty diagram or chart if I wanted to. I’m thinking about all of it. Yet, I realize my questions go well beyond just my current thinking. So instead, I am thinking bigger, and I ask, why isn’t there a road map to life’s challenges and hard moments? Why isn’t there a how to guide for each unique situation? Why can’t anyone tell us what to do next?  Why can’t the road be laid before us perfectly?

Honestly, I know the answer to this. Or at least, I know my answer to this. The reason there is no road map to these hard situation is simple. It’s painfully simple and obvious now that I think about it.

It’s life and life is unpredictable.

I do not believe our lives our pre-determined.

Rather I believe in choice and subsequent consequences.

I believe that the gift of being human is also its curse – we make our own decisions and we live with the outcomes. We are faced with choices, and for most of us, we make the best decision we can at the time.

Not all things are a guarantee, in fact, many things are not.

There cannot be a road map, or a list of possible scenarios to choose between with definite outcomes, or a spreadsheet evaluating the choices equally. Sometimes there is no right or wrong, or black and white. Sometimes, we must live within in shades of grey, and navigate our lives without any certainty for what tomorrow will bring.

As comfortable as shades of grey may make us, sometimes we have no choice but to navigate our way through the confusion and the multiple outcomes.

I guess, maybe, what matters more than the actual shade we choose, is how we handle the ultimate outcome when the outcome isn’t what we wanted or expected. It’s these moments in time that show us and the world our true character.

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38 Comments on “Can I Have A Road Map To Life? Please.

  1. I wish I knew the answers to all of these questions too. We’re all just along for the ride, and I’m hanging on as hard as I can! Hoping you find your answers and peace soon.

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  2. Shades of grey are hard. For me, this was a huge part of “growing up” and living life as an adult–being ok with the greys. I’m not ok with them all the time, but I’m making progress. I’m kind of glad there’s no map, though, because sometimes when we veer off the path and get lost, we discover the most beautiful places.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You sound so much like me – learning to live in greys is hard work! I’m trying, I don’t always like it, but I am working hard at it. And I too am glad there isn’t actually a map because that would take out all the fun and beauty in life. 🙂

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  3. Very well said. It is not the burdens but the way we carry them. I always want to have a plan, but someone said life is the thing that happens while you are making plans. My new mantra is “I am at peace with the past, I am grateful for the present and I am hopeful for the future.”

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    • I absolutely adore your mantra! I’m still working on being at peace with the past, but I I am always so hopeful for the future – the hope for the future is what I always seem to grab a hold of in my hard times. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful perspective!

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  4. It’s so tempting to want it all to fall into place, but then again I think the struggle is what makes us who we are. The choices we make when we’re at a cross-roads come from that same place too. Though it seems counter to stand up and love the challenges that you’ve faced, they’ve also shaped you into the remarkably thoughtful, compassionate person you are. As much as you want to separate the two, you can’t.

    Or at least, I can’t.

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    • You are right, I too cannot separate the two. The challenge makes us who we are, and while at times I’d love a road map, the fact is such a thing will never exist so we have no choice but to live and trust ourselves to make the right decisions.
      Also, thank you so much for your kind words. 🙂

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  5. Well said. I agree with this 100%! As nice as it is to have free will at times, it can also be so frustrating when you wish you somehow had a roadmap, as you call it, to follow and knew you were going down the right path. I guess we just have to learn to trust ourselves.

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    • I think you are right, we do have to learn to trust ourselves more, and trust that we will make the right decisions and come to the right conclusions. Really, that’s all we can do because I’m rather confident that there will never be a road map.

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  6. This reminds me of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books I read as a kid. Some days I wish there were more certainty but most of the time I think that uncertainty and choices as well as their accompanying consequences are what life is all about. I hope you find your way and make peace with what is beyond your control so you can enjoy the rest of what it means to be alive, friend. 🙂

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    • It really is like a choose your own adventure book! Like you, some days I think it would be great to have more certainty. Other days, most days actually, I prefer the spontaneity of life and the uncertainty because as you say, that’s what life is all about.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing this. While I, too, know all of these things, it helps to see them written down and articulated so beautifully. Much love to you! I hope you have a good weekend. 🙂

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    • I do wonder what our happy endings will look like. I believe on some level they are out there waiting for us, but it would be nice to have a sneak peak. Love to you my friend, I am so looking forward to your happy ending.

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  8. This post really speaks to me with a lot of what I have been going through lately. Life is so unpredictable and I believe its about how you handle things that come your way. What I have been struggling with is the choices and outcomes part. I totally agree that we make choices and face the consequences of them (good or bad), but that doesn’t explain everything for me. I can’t say that a child that gets cancer before turning 5 is the consequence of a choice, but I don’t think its predetermined either. With that said, I don’t really believe in looking for the “why” in most situations unless knowing it would make a significant impact on the end result. At the end of the day life just isn’t always easy and I wish I had a manual to figure it all out.

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    • Thanks so much for sharing all your thoughts on this. You are so right that a child getting cancer is not the consequence of a choice, just like IF or RPL are not a consequence of choice. I think the choice factor comes into how we deal with it, how we chose to overcome lives challenges. That said, I’d really like to understand they in all of this, I know it would help me understand life better, yet I also know there is not a why behind many of these things, or at least not a why that would make any sense to me.

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      • you are right. The choice is absolutely in how we deal with it, because there are just so many things that will NEVER make logical sense.

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  9. Reblogged this on Planting Beans and commented:
    I know I’ve blogged a million times today but this post just hit in all the right places. It’s wise and thoughtful and an incredibly important read.

    I’m sorry to steal yet another post from you MPB! I couldn’t help myself but share.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Man wouldn’t that be awesome? To just know what to do all the time, and know what was right and what wasn’t? At least we do have one thing in life: the help and support of our guides…or our friends and family. Especially thinking about all of you here. So many who have been in our shoes, or very similar ones, before, who have lots of advice or resources to share with us. Beyond thankful for all of you every single day. And I guess that’s the best that we have. 🙂

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  11. Agh. Just agh. Our lives are exhausting and eerily similar. I feel the weight of your words and emotion here because I am with you in it…the fork in the road, the shades of indecision…thank you for your honesty. If nothing else, I like the comfort of knowing I am not alone in this mess. 😉 I can’t wait until we can look back and know we are passed the fork, and maybe be a little joyful too.

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  12. I’d love the security and predictability of a roadmap. Especially as an adult – I just feel that I want to know where we are all going and what to expect. It’s very hard dealing with what life throws at us. Sometimes it’s like being in a warzone and at other times it’s a time of peace and solitude. Not being able to plan and just having to roll with it is hard.

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  13. Yes…please give me my road map. I’ve been “lost” for a while and you are SO right when you say, “Not all things are a guarantee, in fact, many things are not.” Now, isn’t that the truth. You just get it. Thank you. xoxo

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    • I hate the feeling of being lost, and having no idea what to do next. I am so sorry that you are stuck in the place right now. I also hate that you get all of this so well, while at the same time I am so thankful that we understand each other.
      I am hoping you start to find yourself and your next steps soon my friend. You deserve so much happiness.

      Liked by 1 person

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