I spent this week on the road in the typical whirlwind of updating a guidebook. There are storefronts to confirm, innkeepers to surprise, new restaurants to try, and new tours to take. I feel like the Tasmanian devil ripping through a city, trying to pack sights, sounds, sensory details and the facts into packages I can retrieve later as I write the book.
During this trip, in the spaces between, my mind kept returning to choices I’ve made over the years that led me to where I am today, The last few years have been especially rough, and at times when you’re shaking the piggy bank for gas money, it’s hard to keep the faith that self-employment is a smart move. I know many friends in similar boats – we could make a flotilla – where freelance work is just tough to come by right now. So I ruminate, plan, and second-guess when my choices seem to lead me astray.
Yesterday, as I drove home, I faced a decision point, a fork in the road. And I do mean that literally. When I drive home from Palatka, there’s a choice – I can drive into the Ocala National Forest, which I do 99.9% of the time, or take the road to Orange Springs.
Without thinking, I stayed on SR 19 like always and ascended the bridge. It was windy and in the distance I could see flashes of lightning. At the top of that ridiculously high bridge over the old barge canal, the future stared me in the face.
It was dark. Roiling clouds, black as night at 3 PM. The cars ahead of me streaked forward into it, a wall of water not far ahead. It was like God put up a hand and said “your usual path isn’t the smart choice. Think differently.”
I hit the brakes and did a u-turn at the road at the base of the bridge. Returned to the fork and took the road less traveled. It was sunny and bright. As I approached Orange Springs, I found a nice little restaurant with fast service, inexpensive food, and perfect sweet tea.
The sky remained clear. Sunny. Full of light. All the way home.
I got to the post office and discovered checks I’d been waiting on for weeks.
An editor called and offered me an assignment.
In my inbox at home, a client I was waiting on let me know she’s ready to start our project.
I sat down on the couch and breathed a sigh of relief, feeling unblocked for the first time in months. I’d chosen the light, and good things followed.