One of the hardest things about taking the road less traveled is remembering why you started in the first place. So many times you arrive at a fork in the road, a setback, a rut, the road ends and continues after a three foot wide chasm, and you think to yourself, “how did I get myself here?” And what’s there to make things even worse? The memories of what you left behind in order to pursue your “dream.”
Even as you go about conquering that road block, you see in the corner of your eye the people you left behind, the other things that you love, and probably would have been easier to do. Regret builds up in your chest even after you pass the challenge, thinking that you wouldn’t have to go through this “if only….” And then when you get to the next challenge, you’ve already lost before you could begin. Your heart isn’t in it anymore. Whatever once made your pulse race in excitement only weighs heavily now.
But you can’t let the light go out completely. You can’t forget. If you turn around and go back now, you’ll be too far to go back again when you remember. Take your time. Sit in front of the wall in your way, and remember what brought you here. Remember the joy you saw when you first started down this path. Remember that you love this.
I haven’t done any work on my thesis for the past two days because I’ve been too busy looking at everything else I’ve left behind in pursuit of a dream. Job opportunities, being able to go home, being able to write without a care in the world… I now have the weight of an intense thesis on my shoulders. For a while I forgot why I was carrying it.
I forgot how much I love to build things. I forgot how much I love to see the possibilities become realities. All I could remember is how much I love to write, how much I love to dance, how much I love my friends, how much I want more time to sleep, how much I want to go home. It seems as though my dream has become a barrier to all the “better” things.
But that’s not true. They’re all good – great even. But I have a once in a lifetime opportunity to put all of that aside and see what it’s like to be an inventor. To take charge of my dream and really see that I can make it come true. God has given me the beautiful chance to see my dreams become realities.
But why is it so hard to keep moving forward? Because it’s hard. That’s a given. I’m not exactly taking on the easiest task, and I never was the best engineer. I’m going to have to move slowly in order to get anything done, and I’m going to have to put two times as much effort into everything I do. But I can’t forget why I started down this path. I can’t forget that these challenges, this path, is what it takes to achieve the things I love.
I have to remember that I love this.