For darn near a year now, I’ve carried around a poem by Antonio Machado. Scribbled by a dear friend who was inspired to share it for some reason or another, it goes like this:

the path
Is this the high road? The low road? I dunno. All I know is I’m on it.

Caminante, no hay camino.
El camino se hace al andar.

Forgive the rough translation, but the English is “On the journey, there is no path. The path is made by going.”

Well, I’m going. And I’m making the path as I do. Having recently found a fork in the road, I took it. I’m freelancing once again as a writer and editor. It’s a path I walked once before, from 2007-09. I gained some fantastic experience and broadened my professional — and personal — acquaintances. But in the end, due to the economy and the offer of a steady gig, I came to the realization that freelancing wasn’t for me.

Or was it?

Now that I’m going along that path again, I’m recognizing that there are traces of this path that have run parallel to my trajectory for quite some time. The path is clearer, more sturdy, devoid of the many obstacles that littered the way years ago.

And that’s encouraging. It’s as if this self-directed course was meant for me to follow, even while I was making headway along another route. I know one thing: I love it.

I consider myself in the fortunate minority of people who can pursue their passion and earn a living at it. Having experienced the freelancing life before, I feel I’m better equipped to make things happen. And it looks like things are happening already. If I can continue to meet with success, sweet.

The poem’s now committed to memory. And I can’t help but think that it’ll stay with me as I seek to find my way.

El camino no es suave.