Ah, the road less traveled…..everyone knows Robert Frost’s famous and often quoted poem….
As someone who for the most part has made her own roads and done things my way, what would an alternative universe look like? I know there have been many big decisions in my life had I not made them, I would not be here, now, in this moment writing this.
Let’s do a look at those decisions through Frost’s poem….
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;
Looking back on life now, there have been many times I’ve stared down these two paths wondering: what if? What if I had stayed in college in New York? I’d probably be broke somewhere and would never be in the family situation I have now. What if I hadn’t said “yes” to as many opportunities as I could? I wouldn’t know as many of the people as I do now. What if I had chosen another house? I wouldn’t be in the neighborhood situation I am now. I may have been in better, or maybe worse, I don’t know and will never know.
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,
Reading this now, I can see Frost is saying that the road less taken does need a traveler on it, yet in the end everything comes out about the same. I had a coworker once, many years ago now, muse with me after her family stopped in. Her daughter had just had her third child and my coworker said she and her husband had often wished they had moved out of the area a long time ago. (I found out later that the family did indeed move soon after I had moved on.) Then my coworker went on to say she often wondered if their grandchildren would have been different had her daughter met someone else. I think about this conversation once in a while when I cross paths with people I don’t appreciate or had the opportunity to interact with someone I would never in a million years dreamed of interacting with. How would my life be different had I made other decisions that led me to meeting this individual? I probably would just have stories about someone else.
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.
How very true. You can’t go back. There is no turning back. Yes, I could run away from my neighbors, but that won’t change what has happened. I can’t change something once it has happened. I may be able to restart somewhere but things will never be the same and I will never see a particular situation the same either.
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.