You're At A Crossroad. Now What?

[This is an open letter written to someone who asked me what I think about crossroads in your career and options and how to choose between them].

You're at a crossroad.

You know how you got here, but not sure where you're headed.

And it's confusing. One way seems smooth and easy - but maybe boring. The other way seems hard, risky. It attracts you like that rockstar wearing a leather jacket.

What should you do? How would you choose between those two? What if you realise - five years from now - that you're too far into the wrong way? What if you discover you're too tired to come back? What if you don't have the energy to start all over again? What then?!

And your head is full of thoughts... How could one really know what to choose?

You imagine yourself walking there. You smile to yourself. Is it nice? Is it terrible? Is that what you REALLY want? Or would it make mom happy? And why do I need to rebel again?

You're thinking to yourself - why wouldn't I walk like everyone else? And why do I get bored so easily? Damn, why are there so many options? And if I choose this - does it mean I'm going to let go of the other way? Totally?

And how amazing it would be to find out it's exactly what you imagined. How amazing it would be to get to the end of that road. How amazing it could be to win the ____ and everyone will say - hey, you got the ____ that you wanted so much! And when your uncle asks you - "Well, how is it going?" You'll be able to say - smiling - "It's going great! I just finished the ___ and now I am a ____!"

So you asked me about crossroads

See, I'm only 38. I'm not old, or a chinese man sitting under a tree or on the top of a mountain.

But I still have an opinion about crossroads. About roads. I live there. I live within crossroads. I chose myself a life where I have a crossroad or two every week. Every morning I have to choose - should I go there? or there? or not?

And here's what I wanted to tell you -

Your life is just the same. Our lives are just the same. Every one of us is choosing something, every day. Even if they are in the "normal" road. Because in that normal road you also sometimes feel like you want to throw up. You have no clue what they promise you if you choose this road. And if this promise is really what you want, or just a stupid paper to hang on the wall. And that understanding itself can make you want to throw up.

And when they (us) choose to keep that same way - even if it makes them noxious - they just choose not to choose. Because just like you - they are afraid. Afraid to be in a crossroad again. I totally relate to them - crossroads are scary indeed.

And sometimes it wasn't your choice. You didn't choose to be in a crossroad - you got there accidentally. Because you got fired, or because you couldn't be there anymore.

And here's what I wanted to tell you -

That you wouldn't know how you feel until you try. I mean - whatever you've done till now - you know how you feel about it.

If going the same way makes you feel noxious, that walking there again - will make you feel the same. But what will a new road make you feel? The one you never walked through? Truth is, it won't help you to think about it 100 times a day. A 100 times an hour. You will never know until you try. 5 minutes into walking there, you'll already know more than you do now.

But... But... Wait... What if???

What if you tried it and found out it's boring? Or you don't like it? What if you tried it and realised you've wasted your time? You already told everyone about this new road. What will they say about?

Well, they'll say things, for sure. So fucking what. It's not like you have a choice here. You don't want to walk again in the road that makes you feel bad - even if some people choose to walk there till they die. So you have no choice. Hating the road you walk in - it's just not for who you are. You'll have to try and see.

And what if I'm spoiled? you're thinking. Why can't I be OK with what I already have in my hands? Well - that's just another great reason for you to try the new road. Walk in it - maybe it's not as promising as you thought. Then you can come back to the old one - this time knowing you're not missing anything...

And here's what I wanted to tell you -

Don't think of the end of the road. Because they moment you'll be ___ or get the ____ you dream of - well that moment lasts for one evening. One evening of celebration. Deep smile, great feeling - getting to what you worked so hard to get to. And you deserve this celebration. But it's one evening. OK maybe two weeks.

But after this evening - or two weeks - are over - the moment is over too. And you are left with the road. You'll have to wake up in the morning, and you'll have to love or hate your life again. So forget about the peak and focus on the road itself.

Sorry if I sound like a monk who sold his ferrari - but I swear - I believe every word that I've written. You know what - forget about me. You know it yourself because you've been there before. You walked, you got to a peak - and you saw that life was the same a day later.

And here's what I wanted to tell you -

If I were you, I would try the new road. The scarier road. The more exciting one. Because from my point of view - this is the safe thing to do. I know, it's counterintuitive.

The scary road would make you grow - even if it's unpleasant. And if you find out you don't want to walk there - you can always get back to a crossroad. But this time you're bigger, smarter, with more experience. You'll have more tools to take the decision again.

So instead of killing your brain with thoughts - just try it. Make it. Create it. Walk it.

You'll find out what you're looking for while walking.

Good luck.