There must be some truth to what Robert Frost said, after all.
In his poem entitled “The Road Not Taken,” the popular verses go, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled, and that made all the difference.” As beautiful as these words sound, we often fail to remember that this is part of a whole poem, and that poem is actually an illustration of how this narrator reflects on the paths as both a young and an old man.
Contrary to what we, the populace, know, Robert Frost’s narrator’s decision in the end to take the road less travelled was actually more of a nostalgic memory. At the beginning of the poem, he is faced with two roads that look equal and fair, and before he makes his decision, he says, “I will return to the road less travelled should the path I take not work out.” But then he realizes that he can never return to that said road because what he would soon choose to take would lead to more and more paths.
More often than not, we face a whole lot of roads in life: some straight, some crooked, some that need a little maintenance work and one with a lot of speed bumps. But unlike the roads we face while walking down the street, we are sometimes unaware that we’ve crossed a lot of the speed bumps, the roads, and its often skewed proportions. A dear friend, whom I thought would stay on a constant course of the road, is shifting to a highway of opportunity soon, a direction that we all did not predict. While we know at the back of our heads that we would not stay together forever, it’s the decision that we have to face sometimes, and the decision can either coax us to a spur-of-the-moment reaction or a pondering one that takes more time. And in this case, it was a spur-of-the-moment-with-a-ponder.
This situation then begs to ask the question: How did we get here?
To answer this question, I enter into a period of disconnect, which I brought up in one of my other stories I shared. I dreamed of a wedding where I was late, and dreammoods.com interpreted it as “subconsciously feeling left behind while others in your life are moving forward.” I have this habit of tending to escape because I have this stubborn mindset that even in this unpredictable chaos, there are sure things in my life that I can run to. And while I now know that there are some, their presence in my life may not be as often, especially if factors come into play like distance, time zones, and self-decisions.
I enter into a period of disconnect for another reason: I sometimes don’t know how I got to where I am right now. It’s not that I am unaware, it’s that there are different aspects in life that happen to work simultaneously. But we tend to focus on one aspect: it could be love, career, family, social, etc. And as we tend to build on that, the other aspects tend to move forward still, like they are all on auto-pilot. Some of them move, the others remain stagnant.
There are times when an aspect reaches a dead end and I have felt that numerous times. It may be because of a decision that I had no choice but to make or the correlation between that aspect no longer made sense. Believe you me, there are times when I try to make things work, to still include certain puzzle pieces to make the whole scheme make sense, but some may have changed shape and no longer are relevant in the journey.
‘How did we get here?’ is a question I ask out loud sometimes, even as my body is riddled with scars, knee scratches, and a heavy heart. I mourn for some of the decisions I had to make and the aftermath is not pretty sometimes. But one thing the universe never fails to do, according to another dear friend of mine, is answer. She says that that the paths we take are different, and at some point, we were just brought together for a thing she calls purpose. The purpose is that thing that someone or something brings into your life that will affect you. It most often steers you in the right direction, but sometimes it brings you to several areas before it gets to where you are.
I end this story with a lesson by Robert Frost: ‘How did we get here?’ is a question whose answer does not make sense now, but by some sort of miracle, someday it does.
Photo by Kal Loftus on Unsplash