The Road Not Taken

15 Jun

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost (1874–1963)

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

For some reason I cannot get this poem out of my mind today. I woke up with the last few lines rattling around in my head. It was with me when I did my personal writing this morning, and it has been darting in and out of my thoughts all day. To me, that is a sign that I’m supposed to share my thoughts and the poem with you. I don’t know why. I don’t know who might benefit from it, but the fact that it is almost nagging me tells me not to ignore it, so here goes.

I’ve loved this poem since college. It speaks to me because I’ve usually been the one to take the road less travelled. I’ve been told as a woman, a business person, a friend and a mother that I am not like most others. Most of the time, I wear that thought like a badge of honor. I kind of like being different from the average person. When I’m feeling particularly good about myself, that thought shows me strength and a uniqueness that makes me who I am.

On my bad days, the ones that make me question all my decisions, that road feels very lonely and desolate, as if I don’t have a friend in the world. It is when I become very aware that that the traits that are not like others also can make it difficult to “fit in”. Those traits keep you from being invited to dinners, to parties, and to vacation with friends. On those darker days, I question if I have made the right choice to follow my own drummer instead of the one so many others do. Fortunately, those days are few and far between.

This week as I’ve re-grouped from vacation, I’ve been hearing my drummer again, and the beat is getting louder. I know that the path I’m about to take is one that most people won’t. It’s a path that I’ve flirted with but never really stepped on with faith and focus. As I clear the various volunteer follow-ups and clutter from my home and body, the path I know I should be on is becoming clearer. Each day is a step closer, and I am as excited and exhilarated as I am apprehensive. Now I just have to let the excitement over take the apprehension, and I’ll be running down that path in faith and joy. With the help of a few friends and my loving family, even that road less travelled will feel more like home.

Each of us has the choice to do the safe thing or the bold thing in our lives. Each choice takes us in a different direction. I hope you choose the one that gives you the most joy and fulfillment in your life. You deserve that so you can share it with others. Follow your own road less travelled and let me know how it turns out. Thanks for being you and have a great day!

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