Making your own path

When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name;—— the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Can you remember a moment in your life when you had life in yourself and it was wholly strange and new? Can you remember the moment when you stopped walking a path of someone else, and started cutting your own?

As I think back, i am not sure when this happened for me… I am an oldest child, so i really never had anyone to ‘follow’… I think i made my own path early on.  I know that I taught myself to read around age 3 or 4- which wasn’t very popular in the country school I attended for kindergarten.  I kept reading ahead in the Weekly Readers about Zip the dog and Miss or Mrs. (don’t remember which) Hansen was not pleased.  She sent me home after 2 weeks and I didn’t get to go back to school until 1st grade.

As an artist, creatively i believe that this happens for us often…we get to a place in the work, the writing, the painting, the sculpture, where it is good…we may feel that we have reached a place we have never been…and we are feeling that there is more, more, more…we can’t get our mind around where its going, but we are passengers, and all of the sudden the words, ideas, pictures, images are coming so fast that we can’t get them down fast enough…whereas before you had to make a good idea or sketch last until the next one decided to grace you with its presence…now there are ideas galore!

In reflecting upon it, I think these moments also happen when you have a crisis of belief in your life…be it in a relationship, or religion, a vocation or voyage.  When your personal beliefs no longer mesh with the path you are on, you have to stop following and decide which way to go…

Walking your own way, in your own path can be scary and exhilarating all at the same time…you may make wrong turns, but if you are fixed on the goal, you will get there in the end.

I wrote the above as a response to #trust30 writing series

This is a website called Self Reliance; Ralph Waldo Emerson website- every day they give you a prompt to write about.  Bridget Pilloud, who has a blog that I follow – was the guest prompt writer.

I would love to hear about the times you have followed your own path, forged your own trail…its all part of the journey.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chris Bell
    Jun 16, 2011 @ 21:30:00

    Hi Pat,

    You have to love teachers! So many do as much harm as good (or at least the did during my distant school days, now lost in the mists of the 1960s). Little wonder I marvelled at the few really good ones.

    Your experiences with following versus not following echo my own. I’m an eldest child, too; although it hadn’t occurred to me until I read your post that this might be the reason I was rebellious, independent and unwilling to accept good advice. Hmm…

    I also learned to read early, I think because my Mum used to read to us every night when we were kids. From early on I could see individual words like glyphs, pictures, and didn’t need to sound out the letters the way other kids my age apparently had to.

    Thanks for taking part in the #Trust30 challenge, and for sharing your ‘Wholly strange and new’ experience.



    • vesselsandjourneys
      Jun 16, 2011 @ 21:40:05

      Interesting that you mention seeing words as glyphs (great word btw)…I have never needed to ‘sound out’ words either, and in fact, as an adult, I read in chunks, taking in entire paragraphs as images…I thought i might be a bit strange in that respect until I read an article on spacial learners…i think i am one 🙂

      Birth order plays a huge role in determining path, i think 🙂 In watching my 3 daughters, i have definitely seen the truth in that…

      thank you for your comments!
      have a brilliant evening,


  2. abha
    Jun 17, 2011 @ 06:36:50

    Love creative spirits like yours. Though I am a first born and love to read a lot of books that work as guides, I think as a first born, I was one of the truly dutiful and obeying kind and have broken the shell very late , and all that rebellious and independent self that has been dormant has now emerged.


    • vesselsandjourneys
      Jun 17, 2011 @ 09:09:25

      haha, good for you, abha! I have decided that I am how I am, and tired of conforming for others several years ago. I don’t always feel confident about it, but its too late to turn back now haha. I am definitely a reader as well- a research junkie, as it were. LOOVE the internet, to have a whim to know about lampwork beads or the subway in New York, or a recent undersea discovery in the Philippines, and be able to access info about it at any time of the day or night…ahhh, that’s perfect! 🙂


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