Camus once said that life is the sum of all your choices.
A dream I had two nights ago really shook and inspired me. In my dream, a teacher in class asked us to draw a picture of what it means to become an MFT. The picture I drew was of a windy path leading into the horizon, where the sun shone big and bright. I could not see the rest of the path, only where I had been and where I am at. The path in front was cut off at the horizon, unable to be deduced. I felt that it was symbolic of perhaps where I am at in my life, and of life in general. We cannot predict the future with complete certainty… it will never be within our view, until it becomes the present. I could only see one thing ahead… and it’s the dream I want to eventually achieve, shining brilliantly in the distance.
The dream made me think of all the things we do not know, the things that will happen that we could never predict. And what if we do not know where to go? What if there are multiple paths to take, a fork in the road? We can never tell with complete certainty which path is better… we may be able to deduce or predict based on probability, but if there are few truths in life, one of them is that life holds no absolute certainty. So then how do you choose? Maybe you make the choice by predicting what provides the best outcome, or by following your value system. Actions come with consequences, both good and bad ones. You may not know everything, but you do your best with the information you have at the point you are at.
If there is anything I learned about Camus/existentialism in my AP English class back in high school, it’s the concept that meaning is created. There is no ultimate meaning, and we have the power within our perspective to create meanings in everything in life. To a certain extent, I see this playing out in our paths. What makes you happy? What are your dreams and what would it mean about you if they came true? A different answer will arise with each person you ask, because we all hold our own meanings/value system. That is why I think that more than comparing your path to another and “figuring it out” that way, it is best to discern what individual values you run by, what makes you truly happy and if the path you choose will be in alignment with that.
Which leads me back to Camus’ quote. Life is the sum of all your choices. The more I think of it, the more I see it playing out in every area of my life. We have the power to create the life we want (or maybe, don’t want) with the choices we make. Sometimes we expect life to happen to us, and we sit and wait, instead of seeking. While there is nothing wrong with that, if Camus is right, then I see both the power, and responsibility, we hold to create the life we may desire. So what path will you choose? And if you haven’t chosen, what is holding you back?