My life right now is like a river. My tendencies, or base state, is downstream. It is the way that my life goes without direct action on my part. Stated differently this is “with the grain,” and I am not abandoning this metaphor, or the name of this blog, which I quite like. Instead, things are more dynamic right now, and I must reframe my thoughts in response.

Continuing on, upstream is my notional better self. It’s where I want to go. Potential life changes would be branches, and they may be upstream or downstream. The branches are easier or harder to take, based on how much I need to fight the current.

I have a branch coming up in three years. I can continue my career or go off in a less-certain, and less-structured direction. It is one with more flexibility, which I badly want, but it comes with more risk too. I was all-in on taking this branch as recently as two days ago. Notice the past tense. New “stuff” has come to light.

A persistent dream of mine, one I abandoned as impossible despite years of persuit, now may be within reach. It would also begin in three years, but I won’t know anything, yea or nay, for an entire year.

This possibility reappearing out of the blue, combined with the delayed decision point, has thrown my thoughts into complete disorder. I should also mention I have to be “selected” for this new thing, too, further reducing my sense of control.

Returning to the river metaphor, all these different streams, obstacles, and changes to the riverbed are creating rapids in my life. I don’t know which way to swim, and I am exhausted from fighting the ever-changing current.

So what can I do?

I am going to roll onto my back and point my feet downstream for a while. I will regain my strength and think, while not fighting the current.

It’s amazing how much better I already feel.