Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Opinion Writing No. 6 

My sister told me a quote a couple years ago. I had recently finished freshman year of college, and it had been a tough year. My classes had been fine and I met some great people, but my friend from high school had died and I had a very confusing relationship with a girl. It definitely had been a difficult year.

When I heard the quote it gave me a sense of direction I desperately needed. The quote had been from the English author J.R.R. Tolkien.

It read: “not all who wander are lost.”

It’s OK not to know. It’s OK to not have all of the answers.

Every now and then I lose my way. Everyone does. Sometimes I make mistakes that would disappoint my parents. Everyone does. At times I feel like I don’t know where to go. Everyone does.

I feel absent and broken—like who am I? Not all who wander are lost—sounds like a hipster saying, right? It’s much more meaningful than that.

I remember when I was a child. My mom would give me puzzles to complete.

Some days I could complete a puzzle without a problem. Other days I struggled mightily with the puzzle. That same scenario can be related to my present day. Some days, things go my way. Other days that is not the case. But that is just how life works sometimes.

Tolkien reminds me that, “not all who wander are lost.”

Next year I’ll graduate from college, and I’m not still unsure of what I want to do afterwards.

I had been so set on sports writing before entering college, but I soon found out that writing might not be what I want to do. That might have scared me at a younger age, but I’ve learned that it is OK to be unsure. I’m not lost. I’m just trying to figure things out, and that can take some time.

So many different things, good and bad, happen during life—deaths, awards, sickness and births. I have seen good things happen to bad people and I have seen bad things happen to good people. There might not be any rhyme or reason, but that is OK because there doesn’t have to be.

My life will come and go. I will keep friends. I will make some more. I will get a job or two. Hopefully I will get married and have children. Maybe I will be famous or something. But the one thing will remain the same: I still won’t have all of the answers—no matter how old or successful I become.

I will still wander. I will still try to find my way—because not all who wander are lost.

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