Monday, September 5, 2016

The Road Not Taken

Today I found myself thinking about Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken (published in 1920).  I looked it up and read it again and found myself moved once more by his description of a choice he made that had a great impact on the rest of his life.  And so it speaks to all of us at one point or another.  

I have noticed that in the last few months, I have been approaching closer and closer to those divergent paths, all the while "sorry I could not travel both and be one traveller..." (lines 2, 3) ... and I find myself wishing, as I read about Frost's experience of choosing the 'road less travelled by' ... that the same will be true of my life, that I will find that 'that has made all the difference (lines 19, 20).  

When I mentioned this to my husband, he smiled. "But you've been taking the road less travelled all of your life!" he exclaimed.  Then he started listing all of the choices I made that were firsts in my family, the community where I grew up, the various spiritual journeys of growth and healing that I have been on, and on and on the examples came.... everything from getting my Bachelor's degree in the 1980s, to child-rearing choices I made, to applying for a management position when I was still a clerk (and being in the top three candidates to be assessed - 14 years ago - a lifetime for some), ... and now this.  

Image "Arrows Choice Shows Options Alternatives
Or Choosing"
courtesy of Stuart Miles at

This - this career path I've chosen (and for which I am going for my Master's degree) - this feels somehow more ... pivotal than most of the other times. As I get closer to where the paths REALLY diverge, when I am going to have to make that decision, clear away the brush and follow that second path, I notice more and more how different the paths seem from each other, and how much more that second path is in keeping with the series of choices I've made all of my life. Like my husband told me, I've never been one to follow or to join ... and I can lead when I have to ... but this is more like walking alongside individuals on their various journeys. And getting to that place is not going to be easy. It's going to be a lot of hard work, and I don't know what lies ahead.  I have an inkling perhaps, but I don't KNOW.

It's scary.  It's really scary.  But in their own way, all of those previous decisions have been scary too.  And if I never follow through with this choice, I'll always wonder what might have happened if I had.

So as the crossroads loom closer and closer, I take the next step. And the next one.  One at a time, bit by little bit.  Yes, I know where the road will take me, but if I worry about stumbling, I will end up pacing back and forth in the middle of the road - and that will get me nowhere.

Deep breath. 

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