I often find myself awake at four in the morning, listing to city life outside the window and tracing with my eyes the path of shadows swirled across the plaster by the ceiling fan. During these times the temptation for introspection is irresistible, the barriers of self preservation all safely still asleep while the conscious mind that created them wrestles with insomnia.
I often, during these times, think about how I got where I am. I have, as I’ve mentioned before in these pages, spent a significant portion of my life making decisions as if they were already a foregone conclusion – that is, by not making them at all and sort of letting the ebb and flow of life wash over me. This long string of barely-made decisions stretches out behind me like the tail of a kite. Or a long winding linkage of train cars.
Why the hell am I riding this train? This locomotive, hurtling down the rails in the dark, with no destination, no plan and no scenery whipping by in the darkness has become my life, and I its tentative passenger.
Maybe the rocking motion of its passage helps me sleep. Or maybe the urgency of ramming through the now into the unknown of the future keeps my heart pounding and assures me I’m still alive. Maybe I’ve taken this metaphor further into the desert than I should.
Ambivalence is something I’ve pontificated about on many occasions, when I could find a willing audience. Or even an unwilling one. It’s sort of a pot-kettle-black situation though, as I’m probably more guilty of ambivalence in my past decision making than most people. Hypocrisy at it’s more base.
Through ambivalence I have created a life for myself that isn’t uncomfortable, but isn’t what it should be either. I’ve reached a crossroads at which I am going to have to be content with the consequences of my decisions to not make decisions and continue on the road I’ve paved for myself, or I am going to have to make some difficult choices to rectify the mistakes of my past.
The road less travelled is always difficult, but the path not yet discovered even more so. Like you, I watch with interest to see which way I shall follow.