Robert Frost is one of my favorite poets and I love his poem, The road not taken. He comes to two divergent paths in the woods, and he has to decide which path to take, just as we have to make decisions about which path in life to take. What if we had chosen a different path in life? Would the outcome be different, and what decisions would have been responsible for those changes? I’ll tell you a few decisions that would have changed my life, and I hope they help you to reflect on some of the things that have influenced your life.
I grew up in an area where the public schools were not very good. My parents had been disappointed with the experiences that my two sisters and brother had, so they decided to put me in private school. I didn’t realize it until college, but private school gave me an education and opportunities I might not have had in our town’s schools. My biology class was a child’s dream. There were three monkeys, a snake, a raccoon that would groom anyone’s hair that sat near the cage, and there was an assortment of other creatures. While none of my siblings went to college, I was surrounded by people who thought that was a basic expectation, so I just assumed I would go too.
In college, I had a chance to spend a year in France. If I had not done that, I doubt I would have become a French teacher and traveled as much as I have.
My dad owned the local gas station and car repair shop. When he was going to retire, he asked if I wanted to take over the business. I said no, and I’m sure my life would have been very different if I had said yes.
My last example is my desire to have a third child at 43. It was the best decision because she slowed me down, helped me adjust my priorities, and she amazes me every day as she shines her light.
There are so many more decisions that could have led to drastic changes. What are some of yours?
Another part of Robert Frost’s poem says, “I chose the path less traveled.” Have you done anything in your life that was different or perhaps not approved by those around you? My daughter graduated with a biology degree and was working in a research lab. I knew something was wrong when she told me she had to start taking anxiety medicine because of the job. One day, she called and told us she had quit and was going to do at-home sales. We were skeptical at first, but she has been very successful. Sometimes you should follow your heart if it leads down the path less traveled.