On a gorgeous Earth Day this past Sunday, my husband Phil and I walked our dog down a trail we’ve been on hundreds of times. Then he noticed a sign. It was a warning sign at the head of a new path we’d never been on before, never noticed before.
At Your Own Risk
It warned the trail was “unimproved” and there were no “amenities” in case of emergency. Basically, it was saying, “go down this trail at your own risk”.
We looked at each other. “Why not? Something new.”
The dirt path was definitely unfinished. We both caught ourselves tripping on rocks and roots jutting out in weird places. We started watching our feet until the trail opened up to a kind of beautiful green ravine. There were remnants of an old paper mill; runoff from a nearby stream.
The view was lovely and new and far more interesting because of it. The climb back up from the trail to get back was challenging but so worth it.
The path that led us here made me think of two women in my office this week: one graduating college and one midway in her career.
Both grabbed my Kleenex box, fearful of the new path they were determined to go down but knowing things were going to be bumpy and no way of knowing where the new trail would lead.
I reminded both, they had enough experience taking risks and succeeding, they would find their way and their new journey would be exciting too.
I’m convinced we find our footing when we need to.
We choose new paths when we know the one we’ve been on doesn’t serve us or surprise us or bring the best out of us anymore. Despite risks, we consciously or unconsciously know, the potential rewards are far greater than on the path we can go down with our eyes closed.
So, here’s to daring new paths; the ones under our feet and the ones that lead us down bumpy trails to something a little more challenging and interesting.