“I really want to go back to grad school this year. I’m going to do it!”
“I wonder what it will be like?”
“Do I even remember how to write a research paper?”
“Will everyone be younger and smarter than me?”
“I have no idea how I’ll keep up with work and everything else in life and go to school at the same time.”
“It’s probably more than I can afford anyway. Oh, well.”
If you’ve ever had a version of this internal conversation yourself, then you’re in good company. This is an example of how we let our fear of the unknown cut our dreams off at the pass before we even got on the horse. Our imagination paints pictures about how things would or could or should be, yet it is rarely accurate. Even so, we give it the reins and let it lead us down the same rutted path.
On a recent backpacking trip in the Badlands of North Dakota, we realized we’d been walking for some time without seeing a trail marker. Granted, they were few and far between and usually hidden under brush or grass, but this felt a little too far between. We stopped and debated what to do. Go back? Bushwhack? Get out the map and compass? Go forward? As we looked around, we realized that the small canyon we’d wound our way into looked impassable ahead, and the funny thing was that it looked impassable behind us, where we’d just come from. The way wasn’t obvious or clear in any direction. Read more