The Difference

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.

– “The Road Not Taken” (c) Robert Frost

Whenever I read this poem, I catch my breath. It speaks of the spirit of the adventurer. Most of us spend our lives doing that to which we have become most accustomed. Rather than living, we adopt this existence of rote, and we look back, and realize that we haven’t really done much of anything. Every fall, as I get closer to my birthday, I ponder over this poem and wonder at its application in my life? What road have I chosen? How much of a difference did it make? In 32 years, what have I done? Am I even close to being who I intend to be? What has helped me grow? What has hindered me? I’ve thought of where my focus has been for the last year. The answer is a million different things that have absolutely nothing to do with what I should have been focusing on.

Here I find myself, another autumn, staring down these two roads, wondering which to choose. In addition to my annual reflection, I’ve found myself giving consideration to getting married and having another baby (or two). I then slipped into a deep funk, considering that remarriage and more children are about as likely as my sprouting a third boob. Then I received an email from a friend and fellow writer, critiquing my latest work. As his signature, he had the following invaluable quote:

“Life is not a rehearsal. You have only this one life. Make yourself one promise: that as from now, as from today, the rest of your life is going to be the best of your life!”

– Roelof Faurie

I read the quote. I read it over and over. I pondered both the significance of the quote and the poem. It was then I chose my road. i chose the one less traveled by – the road that leads to the endless possibilities of me, and I do so because I fully intend for the rest of my life to be the best of my life. I promise to prove my epiphany post wrong. I haven’t peaked at sexiness. My stories can only get better. My greatest adventure is yet to be had. My greatest love is yet to be experienced. I promise that my smile can only get bigger, broader and brighter. I promise that there is nothing walking this earth that can steal my joy; that can only be given away. With every tomorrow that I am blessed to be given, I promise to stand stronger than I did the day before. I promise not to worry about who may be prettier, finer, smarter, or a better writer. I promise not to be dissuaded by rejection letters. I promise to not be afraid to show my cleavage, but also not to believe that’s what defines my sexiness. I promise not to wait for emails or phone calls that will never come. I promise to always wish the best for all people, but not at the expense of my being. I promise to forget those who have forgotten about me, treasure those who treasure me and be smart enough to differentiate between the two. I promise to remember that every moment wasted on regret is a moment wasted.

I promise to be me. Unabashed.

b jack


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