Buckets of money over here!
Turn this way for ultimate success in your professional endeavors!
Three miles straight ahead to your perfect human companion!
Satisfaction with the state of your life and acceptance of who you are just through this thicket of brambles on the other side of the mountain!
Free puppies (already wormed, neutered, chipped, and with free food for a year)!
Wait... that last one actually does exist sometimes and is for me, in a brief moment of extreme optimism, always a sign which leads to happiness both for the recipient and the puppies.
You get the point, though. And if any of those other signs has shown up in your life and led to what is indicated, please give me directions to your road... unless that road involves joining Scientology, becoming a total slut, or sacrificing all my ethics in order to achieve my desires (gee, and I wonder why I haven't found success in Los Angeles yet...).
There are, however, signs which alert us to events, situations, traps, pitfalls, and such to avoid -- sometimes the signs are even multiple and give us a way out, if not to a better road, at least a different one with better potential. These signs aren't always obvious, but often they are, and in either instance there are times when we are either too distracted looking for the signs we want to see, or too stubborn to pay heed to the warnings, or too distracted by a drifting plastic bag across the road to notice the signs.
Then, one day, we look around and realize we're on a road we never intended to be with (seemingly) no idea how we got there, nor how to get away. Whatever triggers our realization, we ultimately have few options: stay where we are, accepting that this is where we took ourselves and just deal with it -- or find a way out.
Option one is safe. We may not be in the place we intended, or even want, but we're here now. Why not make the best of it? Accept, deal, and hang out here. Maybe we'll adjust to this place and find some type of satisfaction in it... eventually. Maybe.
Option two is terrifying. Exhilarating. It has the potential to alienate us from those we've been heading down the same road with and formed bonds with along the way. We could crash our proverbial cars or drive them off a cliff trying to get out of this place. We could also find our own road, build it if necessary, that leads to what we really want -- what is good for us.
I'm finding myself currently looking back and seeing the signs reflected on the road where an oppressive heat beats down and causes the signs to gleam in reverse off the pavement. I look at where I am and see how lost I truly am. I'm standing in the center of what looks like an oasis village, and yet I know what it really is. I've known for a while, I just haven't admitted it to myself.
It's a mirage.
That promise of security and balance is an illusion, and as much as I crave those two stabilizers I know I was made for more. I'm not one to run back out into the desert down unknown roads without drawing myself a map first, but I'll be damned if I settle in this little pocket of life and accept it as my one and only inevitable future. The water was soothing at first; now it's growing stagnant and wretched. I'm tired of trying to boil it and tossing in a few additives to make it more palatable.
I don't want palatable. I want savory, sweet, exotic, surprising, and I want it assaulting all my senses.
I'm going to start my own map, watch for the important signs, and build my own road out of this mirage. Anyone who wants out of theirs, let's build that road and head down it together.