We talk about careers, paths, and life works as if they are linear.  As if each thing we do builds to the next and the next in a nice progression.  Or that it’s something like Eat/Pray/Love where we just aren’t listening to what we should be doing and even though the path may seem crazy and chaotic it’s actually leading in a linear way to our goal.

Ah, wouldn’t that be nice?  Well, paths can sometimes be linear, can sometimes be serpentine, and sometimes they have intervals as well.  Our path might not be about one particular profession, we might have more skills than that and a higher purpose than that.  For example, if your path is to teach, then one part of your life might be about direct teaching, another might be mentoring someone in your personal field of interest which is separate from your career, another might be in volunteering or steering a committee an another might be to write a book, manual, blog, e-book or something else entirely.  All of which are your path, none of which need to be specifically connected with each other.  None of them need to happen at the same time or even in the same field or time period of your life.  But it’s all your path.

Some people get confused about this.  They think this project or job or career path they have chosen (or that has chosen them) is THE ONE and this is what they will dedicate their lives to doing.  And then the opportunity ends for one reason or another in one way or another.  And then there are huge question marks around the entire thing.  What was that for?  Why did I have to go through that?  Is this really what I’m supposed to do?

It’s like that old saying, “Some people are here for a moment and some for a lifetime.”  Same goes for ways in which we express our path.  Sometimes it is something that becomes a lifetime journey, sometimes its a project with a defined beginning/middle/end which we are involved with, sometimes it’s an event that will teach us much needed emotional/mental/physical skills on a variety of levels so we can be more effective and better prepared for the next thing that is coming further down the line.

Not everything needs to be linear, needs to define us or form us.  We are who we are and who we are becoming.  The gift is that we bless each other’s lives with our wisdom and our folly and our becoming.  And in the end, that is truly our path.