“When you take a journey, you must always be prepared to move.” That's the oddly obvious advice my mentor gave me when I started out. Of course, the things that seem obvious to me at first don't always turn out to be as clear after I experience things for myself.
I did set out on a pathway. It was fuzzy in the sense that you will not find this path on any map. Instead, it was something that I created. Sometimes, it was obvious which way to go. Other times, I longed for better tools to hack my way through the undergrowth.
At those times, I'd turn to mentor and say, “I don't feel very prepared for this. How am I supposed to get through here?” And she'd say, “Just go!”
By now, you can see how profound my mentor is. I'm trying to be witty because, in fact, she is incredibly profound. The trick is to know how to understand what she says.
Naturally, I followed my mentor's instructions and forged ahead. Not always successfully, but I am nothing if not tenacious.
As we continued on this curious journey, my mentor would sometimes say, “Whoa… Stop for a second.” Then, she'd tell me to listen or smell or see something. Now, these moments would almost always come right after one of my bursts or tenacity. So I know that these were designed to call me back to awe.
A Cautionary Tale
Then, one afternoon as I opened my eyes from a very short nap, I realized that my mentor was gone. I wasn't really surprised.
But I was a bit scared. I had not been on my own until that moment and it was challenging to think of the way ahead without companionship. Well, that's what my mind tried to tell me anyway.