Jane Austen inspired regency portrait Love Letter

"The Letter" - a digital self-portrait of the artist.

I’ve always been fascinated by music and poetry depicting roads, paths, or traveling as a theme… Curiosity tempts me to learn the origin, the destination, and to uncover any experiences to be met along the way.

My grandmother introduced me to the writings of her favorite poet, Robert Frost, when I was still a child, too young to understand the meaning of his words. He has since become one of my favorite writers, as many of the most famous and profound poems regarding pathways and journeys are his own.
Who doesn’t feel a chill while reading “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, or can relate to choosing “The Road Not Taken”?

In fact, a quote from the latter serves as my e-mail signature, although it is NOT the infamous final sentence, which reads: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference”

Yes, I do feel stirred by that line, as many people have… in fact, people completely unacquainted with the works of Frost will probably recognize that quote alone. It has become the anthem for creative free-thinkers, a battle-cry to reject conformity and established direction.

However, when I muse about my own life in quiet moments, retracing the individual steps I took.. those seemingly random, inconsequential choices, which when added together, have brought me to this specific place… I’m reminded of a different line in Frost’s poem.

As adventurous and impulsive as I may be, I sometimes find it difficult to commit to a particular course of action, because the finality of decisions burden me. There is no turning back and beginning again; life continually propels us forward like a stream of one-way rush hour traffic. Every choice we make moves us farther from our point of origin, so we will never experience those other paths the same way even if we stumble upon them later in our journey.

Whenever I place an idea on hold, which I often do, and attempt to convince myself that it can be revisited at some future point… part of me knows it will probably be buried instead. Time will keep pressing onward, and other circumstances will arise that require immediate action, and eventually those brief portals will collapse and disappear into an alternate universe.

Although these ramblings may sound regretful, I can assure you that I’m mostly satisfied with the choices I’ve made thus far. In fact, I consider myself blessed to have Joe’s hand to hold, as well as my adorable little monsters, and the various friends I’ve connected with who continually inspire me to dream bigger each day. I wouldn’t trade any of them for the chance to alter a piece of history. 🙂

Once a decision is made, I refuse to pine over opportunities lost, and the roads which lie far behind me. Whichever path I ultimately choose, the trip will be worthwhile, as there is happiness to be found everywhere, here and now. I remind myself to live in the present, and look towards the future, which is just as exciting and full of possibility as it appeared at the onset of my journey.

As Frost states in my favorite passage:

“Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.”

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