I have found that there are certain things, poems, sayings, friends, whatever that stick with me and keep me on right track for who and how I want to be. With the new year kicking off, and the habit of New Year’s Resolutions is in high gear, I wanted to share one of those things that’s made such an impact that I keep it around to remind me that it is my choices that determine my actions, my actions that determine my habits and my habits that show the world who I am.
The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost
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.
I first read this as a freshman in high school. At the time I blew it off completely and missed the point entirely; I wasn’t always so good at symbolism. I didn’t realize it then, but this stuck with me and has surfaced in some of the strangest places at some of the strangest times. And to date, it hasn’t failed in reminding me to take the risk, the road less traveled. And to date, it has always been good for me.
As you move into this new year, I encourage you to look back at what has been successful, safe and a total wreck. Then look at what your goals are and how you want to live in your life. If you have the opportunity to step off the same, safe path, even for a few steps in your life, I hope you take advantage of it with the presence of mind to fully immerse in the experience.
May this new year bring you the best of luck, life and the most interesting challenges. I look forward to a new year of exploration, growth and interesting times.