She’d rather go sit by the river and write or watch the bubbling of water across the rocks and wonder about currents and patterns in nature. She’d rather walk through the woods and ponder why she was born at this moment in time. She’d rather spend time with a friend comparing notes on eighties music.
And I secretly applaud her for it.
Even if the achievement-oriented part of me gets the most air time, I think my daughter is wise beyond her years.
I can put all of my energy into envisioning and planning (and possibly fretting over) a future that may or may not happen the way I expect it to (COVID has shown us that). Or I can focus more on what’s here right now: the rustle of leaves overhead, the slant of light headed further south, a wistful teenager with a tender heart.
When I’m busy launching myself and my daughter into her future, I lose my footing in the here and now. So maybe there is a way to hold that future “out there” and stay rooted in this moment.
It’s like looking out at the horizon. It won’t do me any good to try to throw myself at it - I can’t reach it in one fell swoop. Instead, I’m better off feeling the rocky path beneath my feet, breathing in the air that surrounds me and continuing one step at a time.
The silent immensity of the horizon will always be there. It’s not asking anything of me, I realize; it’s simply inviting me on.
The path might be steep and rocky or smooth and serene, but one way or another, the future will arrive, and my daughter will likely go off to a college of her choosing.
And if she spent this summer gazing into the river wondering how long it would take these precise droplets of water to make it to her cousin’s house sixty miles downstream, I suspect she’ll be all the better for it.
What horizon are you drawn to? What invitation might it have for you?
Jessica Curtis is a professional life coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.