If you’re looking for a straight line, you won’t find it here.
When I first arrived in France, I was pretty sure that Dominique was driving on the bike path, turns out, that was the actual road. The pure randomness of the streets were inconceivable to the grid that was placed in my head at birth in the United States. I was used to the right angles, the numeric and alphabetic order of it all. Here, I had to let that go. There was and never will be a day when I will say, “Go straight to the next stoplight and take a right.” The translation of that is to take seven lefts on the approaching roundabouts, pull into the nearest driveway, let the other car pass through, turn around, and veer right.
It wasn’t really that hard for me to let it go, because honestly, I never really lived there, on the grid. I have found my way through guts and grace. Sneaked through doors, and crawled through windows. I have never wanted to live someone else’s life, I wouldn’t know how. I found my own way to write, to paint, to love. So often now I am asked, how do you get a book published? How do you sell your art? How did you start your own business? How did you find your true love? The translated answer includes a lot of roundabouts. But people don’t really want to hear that. They want exact directions. Right angles and grids. They aren’t always available. And even on the safest, straightest road, you can still get lost.
I think maybe the key is not to look for a path, but to make one. And give thanks for it, every day.