When I was in 7th Grade, someone thought that it would be a good idea to send my entire grade on a field trip to a corn maze. We were separated by homeroom. At the time, I did not get along with my Homeroom Teacher. We had this strange relationship where we actively disliked each other, but I also craved his approval. My 7th Grade angst and self-loathing didn’t help matters. Even so, I was in luck. I didn’t have to be stuck in the maze with my Homeroom Teacher. Instead, I was trapped in a corn maze with my Latin teacher who I hated even more than my Homeroom Teacher. At the least, I always respected and admired my Homeroom Teacher. Longed for his approval. Wanted to prove him wrong about me. My Latin Teacher didn’t like me either, but he was also a shitty teacher and I didn’t give a crap what he thought. Good riddance to him. But, on that miserable day, I was still stuck in a corn maze with him. To make matters worse, my group came up with the name “Team Hannah Montana” and our doofus guide actually used that team name with a straight-face. Ugh.
There is a point to this story, aside from dragging up old horrible memories. When we were stuck in that maze, there was only one way out. Make the right turns and get out. Of course, with such an incompetent Team Leader, it took us a ridiculously long amount of time to escape our predicament. We had to retrace our tracks a lot. He literally led us into the middle of a wasps hive at one point, despite the fact that another group warned us that “hey, there are wasps and this is a dead end”. The point is, we got very very lost. But, by some miracle, we did eventually make it out in one piece. Well, physically at least. I don’t know if my mental state ever fully recovered.
The point of this anecdote is that sometimes you have to make a lot of wrong turns before finding your way out of the maze. You have to retrace your steps, listen to the advice of other groups who have been where you are going, and keep trying. Because, if you give up, you’ll just wind up trapped in the middle of a corn maze forever. Metaphorically, at least. The possibilities may seem endless, but there are only a few paths to get you to where you want to go.
If we continue with this “maze” metaphor, the scariest part of mazes is that there is no real way to know if the choices you make are the right ones unless you keep walking. There is a lot of turning back around and trying again. There is a lot of frustration and irritation. There are a lot of wrong turns. But, eventually, there is always a way out.
Possibilities are a scary idea. Theoretically, the idea of different possibilities is exciting. But, in reality, the sheer amount of possible destinies and lives can be intimidating and overwhelming. Which way do you turn? What if you turn the wrong way? What is everyone else doing? Why do they seem to know where they’re going when nothing feels right for you?
But the thing is, thinking about possibilities will do nothing towards solving them. Thinking about a hypothetical world will only get you trapped in a fantasy. If you want to figure out your ideal reality, you have to just live it. Stop imagining the perfect guy, the perfect job, the perfect house, or the perfect life. Start living it. You gotta kiss a few frogs before you find your prince, yeah? Maybe that’s how everything works. Today I went to the career center at my school and was given an idea of where to begin. Like my “Mr. Keating” told me not too long ago (well, indirectly told me through a friend)…my issue right now is my fear of exploration. Of newness. Of taking chances. And of testing out possibilities.
Life isn’t meant to be lived on the sidelines. I can’t figure out every problem in my head. Sometimes you have to jump in head first and live life. Mess up. Go the wrong way. I’ve been so afraid of having regrets, but how is doing nothing going to fix that problem? If anything, doing nothing will wind up being my biggest regret. As always.
So here’s to possibilities. I’m still young. There’s so much I want to try. If I’m going to try it all, I’d better start now. Maybe I don’t have to just go in one direction and stay trapped there forever. Maybe I can try all sorts of things. Who knows? Only way to find out is to take the first step. The possibilities are endless.