Just follow the path and don’t look back

A dog and a direction postI borrowed a dog for a walk this afternoon. I took him somewhere I used to take my dog, but where I haven’t been for a few years: onto the nearby common and the adjoining woods.

As we walked through the woods, there were wooden posts with arrows marked on. Being well behaved, I tried my best to follow the arrows. At one point this resulted in a rather overgrown section – it got worse and worse, until we finally broke through to a clear area again. When I looked back, there was no sign of the path we’d come from, and had we been going the other way, there’s no way we would have tried to get through.

We continued on, back on a more well-defined path, and eventually broke out of the woods back onto the common, and continued our walk.

overgrown pathThen someone asked the question: “Would you want a do-over?” and that made me think of that path. We go the way life directs us, but sometimes when we look back we can see no path, and it’s hard to believe we came through that way. If we were heading the other way, there’s no way we would have picked that path, but as bad as it looks from this side, actually going through it wasn’t so bad at all, and it’s brought us to where we are now.

And having reached this point, we go on, because looking back is pointless. We can only go on from where we are, and find what’s on the other side.

So would I want a do-over? No, because I’m actually pretty happy with where I am now, whatever the path to get here looked like. If I started again, there’d probably still be unpleasantries, and even if there weren’t, if my childhood had been perfect, then I’d be a different person, because my experiences shaped me into the person I am.

I wouldn’t have chosen some aspects of my early life, I fully admit, but they are part of me now, and helped to bring me to where I am, and I can’t change the past without changing the present.

I think I’ll just focus on moving forward, and not looking back.


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  1. I love this reflection and how thinking about our life’s path ties in with a walk you took. Thank you for sharing your perspective! 🙂


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