Do You Know Where You’re Going?


I was lost in the beauty of Mount Congreve Gardens last Thursday when a couple, who were probably in their late sixties, stopped me and the man asked politely:

Do you know where you’re going?

I struggled to come back to reality and while halfway there said:

Yes, do you?

The pair looked at me as if I was a bit daft and explained that they weren’t sure which path to take to get back to the car park. I had no difficulty giving them directions and they went happily on their way.


Wandering along the dappled path, I pondered on the many layers to the question: Do you know where you’re going?

It seems to me that some people make a very conscious effort to map out their lives from a relatively young age and visualise the paths or highways that they will take. In lots of cases, their journeys unfold as they have envisaged them. Others who adopt this strategy find themselves derailed by circumstances and have to make major adjustments.

And there are others who don’t have a set vision of where they are going but decide as they go along. Yet again, this approach can have mixed outcomes and probably involves a fair bit of going off the beaten track.

Pathless Woods
Pathless Woods

I’ve come to the conclusion that I certainly don’t know where I’m going nor am I fully sure how I’ve arrived here. But I’m definite about one thing: there is a glorious magic associated with embracing uncertainty.

Magical Moments
Magical Moments

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

42 thoughts on “Do You Know Where You’re Going?”

  1. I’m sure that I have arrived if not then I’m lost after 56 years..I guess I will stay on this train, no stopping or getting off…just viewing the scenery as I go along…

  2. Yes, thank you Willowdot21 for sharing the music – next time I’m at the music shop – I know what I’m buying…Jean your posts are a wonderful way to start the day….so for now I know where I’m going…but…and it’s a big one….I never know what the day will bring….don’t get me wrong..I mean I plan and plan and plan…but you know how it is…stuff happens:):):) love the photos always:)

    1. Hi Olga, thanks for your kind words.
      Oh, it’s the stuff that happens (and I mean ‘big’ stuff that can really put paid to the best laid plans.) I’m not saying that’s always a bad thing as the plans mightn’t necessarily have been great to begin with.

  3. By this time in my life, I’ve figured out that we can never truly know where we’re going, but we can at least try to get there with love, patience, humor, and kindness.
    ThoughtFULL post and beautiful photos!

  4. I think I’m happy wandering with no desire to get to anywhere at any particular time. On the other hand my children seem to be like their Dad with very fixed ideas where they are going. Personally I think life would be so much better for them if they took a few detours.
    As always great post to get me thinking accompanied by beautiful photos.

    1. Hi Tric, I suspect that younger generations are tending to be more pressurised into having it all mapped out than earlier ones. The points system may have a lot to answer for in this regard. I know there’s loads of factors involved but there doesn’t seem to be much talk of the derailments that are pretty inevitable for most and building strategies to deal with those ahead of time.

  5. The Cheshire Cat and Alice have a conversation in Alice’s adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll circa 1865:
    (Alice) “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
    “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
    “I don’t much care where—“ said Alice.
    “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
    “—So long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.
    “Oh you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

  6. Very intriguing question Jean. There is a psych professor at University of British Columbia in Vancouver who was actually researching that question. MY Mum , who lives in Vancouver, sent me a news clipping describing the prof’s findings. There is, of course a continuum of behaviour patterns. It is defined at one end as those who know very early on what they want to be and how to go about it. These folks spend their lives going in a straight line and make contributions to humanity early in life. On the other end of the continuum are those who basically try many many things in their lives and as they age the commonness between their various specialties becomes integrated and these folks add a lot to humanity late in life. Most folks tend to one end of the spectrum or the other. I am for sure at the collecting experiences end – which means I really have no clue what I am going to be if I grow up. 😀

  7. Love the way you see things, Jean. As for myself, I’m pretty sure I haven’t a clue where I’m going, but it’s nice to know there might be possibilities. In the overall scheme of things not knowing doesn’t make me either happy or sad, it just happens to intensify whichever end of the pole I’m perched on at the time.

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