Day 42: At a Crossroads

Gabriel Delaney 2015

I spent the better part of my Saturday walking through Central Park with some old friends, reflecting on just how fast time seems to be going. Between graduating from Penn in May, to entering the final two weeks of this amazing summer at the MSBA, to heading out to Oxford in couple weeks, the pace feels surreal.

“…I am not going to let anything stop me.”

This summer has made me think long and hard about the career path I want to pursue. I say this knowing that many of us are entering a stage in our lives wherein we will have to make critical decisions about the people we want to become, and what we want our lives to be defined by. While I agree with the saying, “You are not your job,” I can’t help but make the connection between what we do day-in and day-out. and how that occupation is somehow reflective of both how we see ourselves, and of the choices we make.

Put simply, each of us stands at a crossroads (perhaps, the first major one of our lives) at the intersection of choice and destiny.

Choice: do I follow this path, which in my heart feels right, but which I know carries the added risk of failure—of not achieving my absolute dream? Or do I take a more secure, familiar path down which others have gone and seem to still be going, and perhaps, scale down my dreams?

Destiny: if I pursue the first path, will fortune favor me? And, if I pursue the second path, will I ever be truly happy? Will I ever look back at this moment and wish that I had chosen differently?

I’ve always disagreed with the notion that just because one is young, they have all the time in the world to figure themselves out—to make any final decisions on who we want to be or what careers we want to pursue. In life, as I have been reminded time and again, there are no guarantees. We are here today and gone tomorrow. We simply don’t have time to live someone else’s life or someone else’s dream, or to accept anything less than our best, happiest selves.

Decisions regarding the paths we take are clearer when we choose to view life through the vantage point that our time is always limited—that life has a shot clock, and it’s always ticking—and that we may only see one chance, maybe two if we’re lucky, to ever become that which we were born to become. Be it in sports, in some other business, or in service, we should always wake up and be able to say, “I am living my life on my terms. I am saying to ‘yes’ to my life. I am stepping into my fears. And because I am going to do this, because I am going to harness my will, I am not going to let anything stop me. I deserve this.”