A dead end makes no sound as you approach it. No death rattle, no warning shot, no continuous beeps until you stop. Even as you bump your head against it, walk parallel to it while running your fingers along its impenetrable wall, most of the sounds you hear are inside your own head. That frustrating conversation, trying to figure out how you got there again. Didn’t you take a different path this time? Adopt new habits? Make new friends? Read more books?
But once again, you’re no longer progressing in all the directions you’d like to go. As you blindly walk along, trying to untangle yourself from life’s interconnected web of bullshit that you unwittingly walked into while distracted by pursuing happiness, you inevitably arrived at your least favorite destination.
Do all paths lead to a dead end?
Even when you’re in constant, break-neck motion, pivoting left and right, still not going anywhere. Periodically, you fling your back against the wall to rest and wipe the sweat from your brow and happen to look up into the sky. The beautiful skies are the worst. Such a contrast to your inner turmoil. If the skies were dark and turbulent, you could at least delude yourself into thinking that the weather commiserates with you. In truth, Mother Nature doesn’t care about you.
So you look into the sky and see heaven. Even an atheist sees heaven, but calls it freedom. Blue, beautiful, idyllic. In that moment, your imagination takes flight. Soaring into the heavens, leaving the dead end behind. Weightless. Stressless.
As you fly above it all, and regardless of any sounds you actually hear, it’s all heavenly freedom. Every last drop of it. There are no walls, no boundaries, no binds, no self-doubt, no inner critic, no needy friend, no overbearing parent, no illogical boss, no crazy politicians, no archaic rules, no that-guys (y’know, that guy who emails the entire company about someone who borrowed his stapler without asking and still hasn’t returned it; so now he’s ready to pull a Saturday night special on a Tuesday morning? Yeah, THAT guy.)
At some point in your flight, something terrestrial and pedestrian beckons. You retain your lofty ideas as you return to Earth. Far too energized to place your back or bump your head against the wall. Instead, you throw your head back and laugh. Look at how far away that dead end is now. Way out there on the hazy horizon and here you are back in the land of opportunities. Ready once again, to pursue happiness down whichever paths it takes you.