Friday, March 20, 2009


There is a poem I have been familiar with since junior high, maybe even grade school. It was in a text book somewhere along the way: “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. For some reason, it permeated my brain and stuck with me. Not word for word, but the key lines and the meaning I find in it.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow weed,
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.

By Robert Frost, 1915

I always wanted to do something exceptional, something different from the norm. To pave the way for others. To leave a legacy. I felt like I was made for something really big and unique. I think all of us feel this way at some point. But most people follow the path of least resistance, out of obligation. Life and duty smothers the fires of our hearts, until we forget what the fire was about and what it felt like.

I cannot say that I have lived an exceptional life or have exceptional accomplishments to gloat about. I’m actually very hum-drum, very vanilla (and a little nutty). I have still not done anything I’m exceptionally proud of. But I am plagued with curiosity, and have left the beaten path many times to examine the brush, animals, and aromas that cannot be found on the trails. Each time, I enjoyed the freedom and chose not to return to my old path, but found a new one to connect with. And so, my life has been full of changes—good and bad. My life would have been simpler had I never left the path, but I’m afraid I would have died of boredom. I have invited some heartache and frustrations with my curiosity and my own impatience. In all, however, I don’t regret the risks I’ve taken.
I like to think I've taken the road less travelled, and it has made all the difference in who I am and how I've grown.

Per Garth Brooks, “…Life is not tried it is merely survived when you’re standing outside the fire.”


Naida Lee said...


Naida Lee said...

that was a good, pondering "hmmmm..." by the way... hahaa. i was really medicated when i typed that! lol.