I forge my way through brambling woods, a path crunching under my footsteps. Each step leaves its own imprint, joining in the trail of footprints behind me. Ahead, there is no path, for I have not yet tread beyond where I stand right now.
To say I don't know where the path leads is a misinterpretation of how I live. In my life, my footsteps create the path, like Hansel and Gretel dropping breadcrumbs along their way. I can turn around and look at the road I have paved with each small step I venture toward the unformed future. I can see the way it weaves, sometimes making sharp turns, sometimes going rigidly straight, but never in too predictable of a pattern.
I am my own person and so I make my own choices. I alone am the craftswoman of this path. I am the artist. I decide whether to go right or left, or diagonal, or circular. I make my own wrong turns and I find new ways to reach where I wish to go.
Sometimes I watch other people and their paths, trying to learn and understand which choices have certain results, which direction is rockier, which is smooth, which is an uphill struggle, which will let me slide easily downward. (Of course, perhaps it is better to struggle upward than to slide downward.)
And sometimes my directional choices take me far away from people who once tread nearby. They also bring me closer to others. But it's strange, the way that happens. I am used to certain scenery, certain company, and then gradually - too gradually for me to notice right away - everything changes. I end up somewhere else, somewhere new, somewhere wonderful.
But what about those whose paths used to be nearer to mine? What if my path does not naturally head in their direction anymore? Do I just leave them behind? Or do I try to force my feet in directions they do not wish to walk so I may travel closer to those the rest of me wishes to be near? What if that means turning back instead of going forward? Is there a way to turn back while still advancing in my own direction?