We moved into a new home. We left the woods of my childhood and moved to a new subdivision, which offered trails through its woods.
I cannot imagine myself without these wooded paths, but now I’ll have to grow accustomed to these prearranged paths. I’ll no longer have to walk with my feet high up in the air to crawl over logs and no longer will I have to duck and crawl to make my way through the ensnaring hands of the trees. I cannot imagine myself walking through the woods, on a perfectly made path with signs and others walking too, and being content.
But that I’ll just have to grow accustomed to.
When my uncle asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up I told him that I wanted to be a doctor. I learned quickly that if you tell somebody you want to be something in one word, they usually don’t ask anything beyond it. But if you tell a little detail, even just a word or two more, they want to learn more. A doctor is a doctor, after all.
But in this case it was different. He smiled and said, “You know what kind of doctor you should be?” I almost opened my mouth, telling him that I wanted to be a humanitarian aid worker. But before I could respond my ears were met with this: “Be a plastic surgeon. Women will pay a lot of money to have their breasts fixed.” I didn’t say anything, I didn’t even smile. I don’t remember what I thought at that moment or even what I said, but looking back, I think it’s the same response I given to others when I was told to “choose the cheapest college and make good money being a doctor” or “anesthesiologists make lots of money, y’know.”
I don’t think people realize that if I see a made path to a forest in front of me, I will instead enter the woods hundreds of feet from it. I don’t think people realize that when I come out from the other side of the forest and if I look back and see a beautiful trimmed exit, compared to a complicated labyrinth; I will have arrived to nothing at all. Since when do the shortcuts have the same answers the long, winding path does? I’d rather crawl out of the forest, with stratches up and down my legs, than walk out unharmed because then I will not know what I actually walked through. I might as well walked down the paved streets. I might as well done nothing at all.
And that is something they’ll have to grow accustomed to.
For now I’ll hold on tight, waiting for something better to happen.