“I’m at a crossroads”.

I hear these words a lot. These words are often accompanied by a range of emotions: confusion, a sense of feeling lost, perplexion, uncertainty, reflection, curiosity.

A lot of times when these words are spoken, I hear an underlying sense of ‘I’m at a crossroads get me out of here!!’. 

It’s not easy being at a crossroads. It can be confusing. It can catch us off guard. It can be destabilising when we have made many, many decisions to stabilise our lives and find a sense of structure, grounding and stability.

But honestly, what would life be if we didn’t have crossroads? If our brains and our minds aren’t periodically shaken up to check in and question: are we on the right track; are we still feeling good about where we’re headed; do we want to think about doing things a bit differently; are there new opportunities to consider?

Would you be OK with making a difficult decision to achieve more? To feel more? To be more? I would much rather find myself at a crossroads for a moment in time, than a closed road for the rest of time.  

We might all be at different places in our lives, with different levels of energy and motivation when we find ourselves at a crossroads. I’d say I could group responses to crossroads with three archetypes (can you tell I’m currently watching “The Witcher”?):


The Hasty One

The one who finds themselves at a crossroads and feels incredibly panicked. The experience is too overwhelming and uncertain to sit with, and the name of the game is to make a decision quickly and to take the next step. In the future The Hasty One can be the one who reflects ‘maybe I should have thought about it a bit more’, ‘in hindsight that wasn’t the best decision’, ‘maybe things could have been different if I had talked to someone’. 


The Avoider

The Avoider finds themselves at a crossroads and buries their head in the sand. Keep calm and carry on is the name of this game. They aren’t overly active about the situation or particularly attentive to the nature of the crossroads. And of course ‘keep calm and carry on’ is a false sense of progress, because there is a sense of carry on as you are, but not in the deeper sense of awareness and understanding that will generate the insights to carry you forwards.


The Loiterer 

The Loiterer is all over the crossroads. They know they are there, they know they need to pick a road to walk down, they want to pick a road to walk down, they are aware that down that road lies change and progress, and growth. And they want it, oh they do want that. And so they wait. And wait. And wait. They hang around, looking for someone to come and tell them which way to go, they wait for a sign of some sort, of a holler from above, a beckoning from ahead, a push from behind. A ‘kick up the ass’. They absolve themselves of responsibility and wait. 


What about you? Do you rush? Do you avoid it? Or do you wait?

Decisions can be hard because there is something at stake regardless of which decision you make. That is the nature of hard decisions. They are not necessarily hard because they are wrong or dangerous or reckless. They are hard because there is no obvious choice. Whichever way you go, there may be compromise, maybe you have to let go of something, maybe you have to take a risk. Acceptance, loss, whatever it might be that is at stake for you, is what will be making it hard. 

Maybe that’s the beauty of the crossroads: there is no obvious choice. 

What if you could be The Seeker? Be the one who gets to the crossroads and gets curious about themselves. What is it that brings you here? Who are you now? Who do you want to be? What is driving you? What scares you? What opportunity lies in each choice? What can you live with? What can you not live without? What are you willing to let go off? What do you never want to regret? 

Lean in, get your hands dirty, be OK with the uncertainty for a while and seek answers that ultimately build your conviction to believe in a choice. Crossroads are inevitable. Sometimes they are small, sometimes they are significant. They are always there for a reason. Rather be at a crossroads than a closed road.



Photo by Justin Luebke on Unsplash