Monthly Musing – July 2021 – Pathways
Small daughter’s obsession with Japan and the Far East continues. She’s been fascinated by that part of the world for a good few years now and has decided she’s going to live there when she’s old enough to leave home. We don’t know anyone from Japan, we’ve never been there and apart from books, the internet, certain Korean boy bands on repeat play on her phone and a liking for the food at Wagamama, small daughter has no connection with that part of the world at all.
It got me to wondering how it is that we are drawn to certain times, places or activities without any prior knowledge or connection. Listening to the radio recently, I discovered that Josh Groban, the hugely successful singer, is the only musical person in his family. The author Cheryl Strayed knew she wanted to write from being very small but nobody else in her family was a writer. A friend’s small son is a champion BMX cyclist and may well compete in future Olympics; my friend is no BMX champion but it was the sport that called to his son.
It doesn’t have to be a career. Talk about history and I’m only generally interested until you mention the Romans and then my ears prick up and you’ve got my entire attention. I’ve definitely never been to ancient Rome (unless in a previous life!) but there’s something about that part of history that comes alive to me. My husband is the same with anything to do with World War 2 and although his Dad was in the war so you might say he has that personal connection, his Dad he never spoke about it and for someone else, that period in history might be no more than “my Dad was there.”
And the socks – where did they come from? I never saw anyone knitting socks, I didn’t know anyone who knitted them at the time I started, but there was something about that first ball of sock yarn I saw in the yarn shop and almost from casting on my very first sock, I knew I would probably never really knit anything else.
I bet you are the same. There’s something that flicks a switch for you and lights up your world, whether a career or a hobby. Maybe it’s something that runs in your family and you might be one of several generations who have followed a particular path, but maybe it’s not and you are drawn to making a new pathway of your own. It’s this sort of thing that really intrigues me. Is it nature or nurture? A sign of free will or that you are on the Earth to do something special? Because even if whatever you are drawn to do is something that stays very close to home, it’s something that affects how you are with yourself and with other people and you would be a very different person without it.
I don’t know whether small daughter’s pathway will run all the way to a life in Japan, and at the moment, it doesn’t matter. She’s enjoying discovering about the country and the culture, she’s doing pretty well teaching herself the language and some of the boy band music that’s constantly echoing around the house is actually quite good. It’s a positive pathway and I don’t think it hurts to see where they lead, even if you’re stepping away from family tradition. That’s how we all grow.