This is my grandfather’s mother. My father’s grandmother. I never knew her and neither have you. But I can feel her presence sometimes. Everytime I walk into a room, she is right behind me, just like all of our ancestors.
Even if you cannot see or feel their presence, know that they are here. In your blood, your veins, your privilege. These people paved the way for you. Which I am deeply grateful for. And I hope you are — or, at some point, will be — too. At times, you may automatically follow in their footsteps, as I have many times. Also, you may find yourself stepping in your father’s, or mine. Where you are most welcome.
If you do, and something feels off, realize that some roads — no matter how much blood, sweat, and tears went into paving them — do not lead to where you want to, long to, need to or simply must go. Some roads lead to pain, nowhere, the past, someone else’s future, or simply to something that either will not serve you or no longer will. Whenever that happens, kindly thank those before you and then decide to create a new path. Yours.
Wherever you let your feet take you, I know for sure that at some point, your children, grandchildren, and generations after that, may want to step into your footsteps as well. I know for sure that if and when they do, they can do so proudly. And I hope that —when it’s time for them to pave new roads and create new worlds— you will give them your blessing and protection for whatever journey they will take on, just as my father’s grandmother did for us. Also, whatever new road or world you will be creating, never mind the road ahead. Just take one step at a time.
P.S. Whenever you get lost, simply ask: ‘Guide my footsteps’, trust your feet and watch where they go. That, my child, will always gently steer you in the right direction. At least far enough to give you a new perspective.