Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Road Less Traveled

The great poet, Robert Frost, is probably best remembered for the phrase “the road not taken. He concludes his poem “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”

Life is often described as a journey with many roads and pathways, and there are many times in our lives when we will come across a 'fork in the road' which forces us to make a decision about which way to go.  Hmm!!!  We think, 'which way do I go?  Now, so and so took that path, and she seems very happy.  Maybe that's the way I should go, too. And then we take some time to think about it and perhaps we decide that's not really what we are looking for. We don't want to settle.  An example is a childhood friend.  When I moved away to settle in the big city, she was already married with one child and another on the way.  She seemed so happy, and I guess probably she was, but that was the path SHE chose. I, on the other hand, I was always the rebel; I wanted more out of life.  I wanted to see the world, so even though I had given some serious thought to settling down, that was not the road I wanted to take.

There is no one true path that is right for everyone. Some may believe there is, but that simply is not true. As I grew older, my mom was always nagging me about finding myself 'a good man and settling down.' 'Yeah, like you did?' I thought.  Maybe it was seeing her life and how it had turned out, how bitter she had become, how resentful of her own child she was...maybe that was my reason for choosing a different life for myself.  I didn't want to find myself saddled down with a man I had no feelings for (for the sake of the child) while spending my evenings cheating with the real love of my life. Always to-gether, but never together.  So 38 years ago, when I came to the fork in the road, I made my choice.  You might as well say I chose the road less traveled for most didn't have the courage to start anew in another state. 

We all make choices, and being human, some of these choices will turn out to be mistakes  Perhaps this might cause us to live with regrets, and as we grow older, we may also begin to wonder just how our lives would be different if we had chosen a different road. Sometimes I sit back and think about my life and all the choices of have made throughout my 63 years. I know I have made many mistakes. I wonder now how different my life would have been had I chosen the other road. Would I have had a happy life?  Or would it have been a life of regret.  Would I have been unhappy like my mom?  I'll never know, and really, who cares!!!  I've been through some pretty hard times in my life, but when I look at my hubby and my two wonderful sons, I wouldn't trade what I have for anything. This is exactly where I was meant to be. 

If we live our lives continuously looking back and wondering if the other trail would have been better, we will eventually find ourselves feeling overwhelmed, unhappy, and unfulfilled. Did I expect my path to lead me into years of unhappy, abusive relationships?  No way, but look where I ended up after it was all said done. I'm blessed to be where I am right now.  There is so much love in my life.  I know I took the right road. So, if you are wondering what might have been, take note of the blessings in your life.  Truth comes from your own heart, for what you learn and experience makes up the truth that your heart believes in.  I think Socrates said it best with his motto 'know thyself, and to thine self be true.' At some point in our lives we have to get past our regrets.
As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” -
Henry David Thoreau


  1. Lots to think about! I'm not really sure how much free will we have and how much is an illusion, so I just consider that the road is long, and that every stop is just that - a stop - and not the end. That way I don't have any reason to look back with regret and I don't have to worry about choices being the right or wrong ones as all of this stuff is really just part of the "plan" or the "journey", however you want to look at it For me though - I have seen enough evidence of fate to support my strong belief in it. And so, like you say, the way one person lives his/her life is her choice/fate and yours is yours.

    I really wish more people would adopt this live and let live attitude, don't you? Life would be so much easier!!

  2. Nicely put. :0)
    No regrets because what I might have gained, I'd have lost.

  3. You're right, Mary -- there's no point in chewing over "woulda, coulda, shoulda." It's all speculation now.

  4. I intend to make better choices next time around ;^) X.

  5. Very wisely spoken Mary...

    I am what I am today, because it is exactly where I need to be.