To Zig or to Zag

Talk about choices! I could not even decide which butterfly effect story to write about! While I was considering my options again while running errands this afternoon, my life created yet another possible story.




There is an art exhibit in town that caught my eye. It is closing tomorrow so I decided to visit the gallery on my way home. I could not find a spot close by. I finally found something within walking distance, but it was near a fire hydrant. I pondered whether or not to take my chances and park there. I finally decided it was not worth the risk so I parked at the train station and began to cross the street. An elderly woman was driving very slowly as I made my way across the busy intersection.  Her slow speed seemed peculiar because she was still moving at a snail’s pace after I had moved past her vehicle. She called over to me and asked for directions. She looked very frustrated and said she was terribly lost. I knew of the location she was searching for and it was several miles away. I gave her directions and headed into the gallery. Clearly I would have not been there to help her if I had taken the spot by the hydrant. This was not an exciting story, but it does illustrate the point that we are all connected.

We are faced with decision points all the time. We often live as if on autopilot and just react. I am working on living a more intentional existence.  This requires contemplation and the ability to listen to that still small voice. If I had posted my original story in my draft folder, I would not have written this one. I think I made the correct choice. The other story was too personal and I am not ready to share it publicly. I knew this was the wrong story so I hesitated. How often do we hesitate when something seems just a wee bit off?

So was there a ripple invoked by my giving this woman directions? Would someone else eventually help her? Probably. Would I have gotten a ticket or worse at the other spot? Not sure as I may have been parked the proper distance from the hydrant.

It is fun to mix it up sometimes. Zig instead of Zag, or Zag when everyone else is Zigging.

My life so far has been filled with plenty of forks in the road, creating agonizing dilemmas. I often imagine the road not taken, like being so incredibly torn between studying writing and psychology while in college. I chose psychology and then went on to build a career in the mental health/ social work profession. Writing is once again my passion and in many ways my temperament is much better suited for this lifestyle. Yet I touched the lives of so many people as a social worker and witnessed so many positive outcomes. I do not regret making a difference and being paid ” just to talk.”

Am I a better writer than a therapist? Sometimes I hit it out of the park. I don’t really know. I used to agonize over this decision, especially during difficult times in my career. Oh was the angst palpable at certain junctures over the years. But my life is not over and I get to make many more choices. Hopefully they will not result in parking tickets, or worse.