Feeling a little metaphorical today.
As I was walking down the stairs to leave school today, another colleague was walking out at the same time. She was coming from one of the first floor rooms to the left, and we converged at the at the bottom of the stairs. We don't know one another well due to not working directly together, so we just greeted each other politely and carried on our way.
Just past the stairs, there's a small hallway that opens up to a wide entryway where students and staff come and go. This area connects the science wing added on to the original building. When you enter into this cavernous area there are two doors, one to the left and one to the right, to choose from. Which door you choose generally depends on where your parking spot lies.
Our staff parking lot is across a fairly busy street. Some people choose to take the footbridge while others choose to take the crosswalk. Both ways take about the same amount of time and lead you to the exact same place.
When this colleague and I reached the exits, she went out the doors to the right, and I went out the doors to the left. I used to take the door to the right, but after I slipped and almost fell down the entire flight of metal stairs one winter, I decided to stop taking the footbridge and start taking the crosswalk.
Both pose a slight amount of risk. People are horrible drivers, and I have been almost hit a handful of times despite always waiting for that bright little walking man to signal it is my turn and therefore safe to cross. And as mentioned before, that metal pedestrian overpass is unbelievably slippery in the winter.
I noticed today when it was just me and this colleague leaving the building at the exact same time that we also arrived in the parking lot at the exact same time. Yet we took two different paths to get there. Neither one is better than the other. Neither one is safer than the other. Neither one is easier than the other. They are just different. But they both get us to the exact same place. To our cars so we can go home.
I didn't think any less or any more of my colleague because she chose to take the footbridge, and I am sure she didn't even think twice about how I chose to get to my car. We both did our thing, and we ended up just fine. And we'll be back at it on Monday. Same habitual walking routine to and from our building. Both living our lives just fine.
See where I am going with this little metaphor?