“Who cares about the crowded, broad road? I’ll walk the single-plank bridge into the night.”
~ Wei WuXian from ‘Mo Dao Zu Shi’ by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu.
One of the things that people dread the most is change. I am no stranger to that feeling of having to start over. I’ve done it several times myself. Every time we’d had to move to a new city, trying to start over right from trying to make ourselves at home and getting used to waking up in a place we weren’t really familiar with, it would dawn on me that this was my life now. And it has shaped me for the better because I can now easily adapt to the circumstances around me.
But the thing about change is that when you decide to walk a path that is less taken when compared to all of the rest, people are quick to tell you that you’re doing something wrong. That definitely isn’t the case when you choose to walk on a path that is frequently walked upon. I used to get a lot of criticism for choosing to walk on a single-plank bridge as a writer and I still do. It definitely is disheartening to see that although there’s a lot of support from those around me, they don’t actually believe that I could make it.
When we decide to do something that isn’t very conventional, and when we decide to do it on our own terms, we’ll often have people telling us to consider other options or to walk the broad, crowded lane, and possibly because they’re more familiar with how things work on that path. And of course, because people are scared of change and partly owing to the bandwagon effect, walking on a path that doesn’t allow you too many options seems like the wrong thing to do.
However, nobody but you get to decide whether the road you’ve taken is the right path or the wrong one. Others do not get to make that decision for you because they’re not the ones in your shoes. Just because everybody else is too scared to walk out of their comfort zones and sacrifice the number of options they could consider, doesn’t mean that the path you’ve chosen for yourself is wrong. It doesn’t mean that you’re going about your life wrong. No matter how everybody disguises their loud opinions under the garb of concern, it doesn’t really hide their true fear: change.
Choose wisely. It’s not a bad thing if you do end up taking the road that has been taken frequently. It doesn’t mean that you can’t handle change, either. But don’t force your opinions about what is right and wrong when it comes to the choices that people should be making for themselves, especially where their choices in their dreams and goals are concerned. Those are not the kind of decisions you should make for others. Let people figure things out for themselves.
I think that a lot of us are scared, especially when it comes to career choices that don’t offer vast scope because we are worried whether we can actually achieve what we want in our lives if we were to walk the single-plank bridge. But the truth is that you never really know what is on the other side of the bridge. You only ever find out when you get there. So, of what use is making any kind of assumption? Who gets to decide what is right and what is wrong, anyway? I thought we were supposed to decide that for ourselves.
This post is probably confusing as Hell because I’ve been very vague here. But my friendly advice to anybody who is considering career choices that aren’t conventional is to just go ahead and do it. Don’t pay attention to all the naysayers because they aren’t living your reality for you.
Nobody can take that away from you.
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