“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
— Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6, Lewis Carroll
I think a lot of us can relate to Alice. We wait and wait for direction, for an answer, or just validation for our path. Like Alice, we get lost down the rabbit hole, which could be a different kind of darkness for each of us. For me it has been a lifelong lack of professional direction, accompanied by the emptiness of depression that constantly pulls on me like an invisible gravitational force.
When I find myself floating in that dark space, ungrounded and without clear objective, I desperately want someone, anyone, to tell me where to go to get myself out of the melancholy. Similarly, for over twenty years I’ve been waiting for jobs or professional opportunities to miraculously fall in my lap – avoiding the decision of which direction to choose. Please, won’t someone tell me what to be? Won’t someone tell me which path will lead me back to light and familiarity? Won’t someone re-mind me of who I am and where I’m supposed to be going? I want my mind back during these times.
But the Cheshire Cat is unreliable and confusing, providing only ambiguous, pseudo answers and frustrating Alice even more. This happens to me, too, when I ask for help from someone because, of course, no one can tell me how to proceed with my life. No one else is me. Yet somehow I continue to hope that the answers will come from outside. The yogi in me knows that everything I need is inside, and I just have to let go of all the rubble burying that knowledge. But again, like Alice, I find it maddening.
So, for now I keep walking. Ok, with some running, riding and driving thrown in. Some might call it running away. I call it actively searching for fulfillment. There is joy in my walking, wonder in finding new places and fresh ideas that inspire me, and there is pride in the endurance it takes to keep moving without “much caring” about where I will end up.