She Created Her Own Path

Shoe by Ann Demeulemeester

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

People constantly ask my daughter what she wants to be when she grows up. Her answers vary depending on the day, her mood, and occasionally the weather. No one seems a bit surprised when she comes up with a profession that’s never been invented, like, “An Astronaut-Ballerina who helps feed the hungry and can also determine when it’s going to rain, so people know if they can go swimming or not.”

What happens when we grow older? Where do all of our dreams and fantasies go? For many of us, our responses become much more limited; we need to be realistic, after all. How can we make a good living? What is the most direct route to obtaining our goals? What is a failsafe path?

When I was young I remember thinking it was rather odd how unimaginative adults seemed to be, and I still do. I’m more interested in taking the path less traveled or, even better, a path never traveled, a path only I can create. Each of us has the ability to invent a life that’s perfectly suited to our unique skills and talents.

Most successful people I’ve known said “fuck it” to someone else’s plan and found the courage to head off in their own direction. Yes, they experienced twists and turns, hills and valleys, but they also discovered passion, adventure and fulfillment. And a lot of them also found wealth, health and happiness along the way.

What is it that you really want to do? How can you overcome what you “should do” and choose exploration over comfort, intuition over reason, confidence over fear?

I, for one, am going to become a “Shoeologist” when I grow up.