Finding my trail

Don’t follow someones tracks just because they are there. Think about where you’re going.

That’s what my dad used to say when I was a kid going on snowshoe hikes. Be careful whose tracks you follow. The easiest way to get lost is following someone else’s trail.

Picture an open expanse of snow.

Here I am in my snowshoes, about to step out. It’s more difficult to break a fresh path than to follow someone else, but when you are the first, you get to be the one to crunch the clean, tiny crystals. You get to decide which way to go for yourself rather than being stuck on someone else’s path, aimlessly moving forward without considering any other options.

Breaking trails is not the easiest route — but it tends to be the most rewarding.

If you choose to break trail, be careful. When you leave tracks, people are bound to walk in them. When you choose the path you break, consider yourself a leader.

So, here I am, 21 years old, standing on the edge of that clearing. There are many paths across it, already broken. There are less-trampled paths, and well-laid trails, and then there are places that have not been stepped on before.

Part of me knows that there is a reason that people before me chose the paths they did, and it was most likely for good reasons — good, predictable reasons that lead to predictable destinations.

Part of me is intrigued by the places where no one has gone.

So, join me here, as I find my way across. I welcome advice and ideas about which way to go.

All I ask of you — take care where you step, I might be following you.


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