“You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.” ~Jay Asher
On a recent trip to New York City, I spotted a sign I had never seen before.
The three words “Rough Road Ahead” made me pause for a moment.
As an inspiration junkie and sign seeker, this was a glaring, neon one I couldn’t miss.
The thing was that day I was feeling especially grateful. After going through an intense few months, where the road felt rough, rocky and ragged at times, I could finally see the silver lining. The light at the end of the tunnel.
So seeing the sign was my moment to stop and give a heartfelt thanks.
It made me think about how wonderful it would be if you sent such clear signs, Universe. Sometimes you send signs, and I love having the little signposts of warning or insight along my journey. But maybe they could always be as clear as this one to help indicate what lies ahead.
Rough Road, Long Haul, Happy Times, Blessed Moments… the list could go on and on. The signs could be spotted throughout the paths we travel, the journey we are on.
But what would be the fun or the thrill in knowing exactly what’s next?
“There are only so many plots in the world. It’s how they unfold that makes them interesting.” ~Lauren Beukes
I love when I am reading a book that captures me. When I find a book like that, I get completely sucked in. I read hungrily, swallowing words and devouring pages so I can satiate my appetite by finding out what’s next.
And while I may wonder what’s ahead, I never stop to fixate on it too much. I don’t stop and analyze if the characters are receiving signs or hints of what’s coming. I just enjoy the journey they are on and let it unfold naturally.
I ride their highs and see them through their lows. I celebrate their victories and feel their losses acutely. I laugh, I cry, but I never question. I don’t doubt if what’s happening is what’s really meant to be.
I accept their fates because it’s already been written.
Their destiny is on the pages and nothing I hope or wish for can change that.
There’s something comforting in that.
Maybe I need to remind myself of this philosophy now and then when it comes to my own life. Maybe I’m not focusing enough on the current plot, people and places. Maybe I should worry less about what the next chapter has in store and simply enjoy the one that’s transpiring in front of me.
And now and then, I can take the time to stop, reflect and connect the coincidences, appreciate the serendipitous gifts life offers and yes, acknowledge the signs. I can think to the future, about what’s ahead, but never at the expense of missing the present.
“Be where you are, otherwise you will miss your life.” ~Buddha
After all, I would never skip pages and flip to the end of a book. I want to be surprised. I want to savor the beginning, each word, each moment, each climax, each conflict, each resolution, and the final instant when it all comes together, perfectly fitting, like an elaborate jigsaw puzzle.
Thank you for the reminder that sometimes the best stories are the ones we are drafting, creating and living in today, not the ones that are down the road, far ahead, beyond the signs.
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” ~A.A Milne