The Road Less Traveled

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2010 at 4:26 am

The Road Less Traveled

The Road Less Traveled

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’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.  Robert Frost is right– the glory of the unknown far exceeds anything that lies in front of you.  There’s a promise that lies in the discovery of something new.

For years, we’ve been told exactly what to expect.  Or, the majority of us have.  As long as you stay in school and get decent grades, you’ll end up at a university somewhere.  And after you’ve attained that bachelor’s degree– the world is yours.

I tell people I’m going through a 1/4 life crises.   Instead of looking at it as a crises, maybe I need to step back a moment and see it through Robert Frost’s eyes.  It’s a new journey, one which promises to be the greatest journey I’ve ever imagined.

For years, I’ve had my life planned out.  College. Graduate/Law School. [I chose Law School.]  Good Job. Make Money. Live Life. Be Happy.  WARNING: That’s not how it works.

There’s an extraordinary amount of debt involved, one that cautions me to stray from law school.  Especially when upon my graduation, chances are I wont have the opportunity to pay back the loans as fast as I’d prefer.  Hell, who knows if I’d even find the job I want.  There’s a good chance I’d be living off a mediocre salary, using most of what I make to pay back the debt I’d acquired. That doesn’t sound like fun to me at all.  At least not at this point in my life.

So I find myself here, at a crossroads.  The road I’m on splits– one to the east, and the other to the west.  The one to the west is the path I’ve traveled back and forth all my life.  The path to the east is new.  It’s fresh, green, and beckoning for my attention.  Because of nerves and the comfort of habitual actions, I’m tempted to continue back down the western path.  However, the beckoning call from the east just gets stronger.  Something is telling me to walk eastward, away from what I know and those I love most.  The feeling resonates in my chest, and gives me strength.  As I head towards the eastern path and place my flip flop on the fresh green trail, I come to the realization I’ve made the best possible decision for me.

It’s time to chase my dreams.  Everything else will fall into place.  And those I love so dearly will always be nearby.

  1. I think more people should be aware that almost *everyone* has that 1/4 life “crisis” right out of college (or, just before… in my case, I failed my last semester and had to come back one more time- which actually worked out perfectly, as the class that would become my career at the time was only offered that return semester… instead of leaving MSU with NO clue what I was going to do, I left knowing exactly what I wanted to do.)

    Sadly, you’re right- there’s no perfect path… You just have to decide what you most want and then follow through the best you can- other things can (and will) get in the way, but as long as you maintain your goal, you can manage it in some fashion.

    After my personal experiences, I’ve learned a few things about work/careers…

    1) If you don’t love what you’re doing, you’ll be miserable even if you make boatloads of cash.

    2) If you overwork (not work hard, but work like I did, 7 days a week year round for 8 years! =S) you will destroy your life! Balance work with “play” (your real life). Many people with their first career jobs dive in willing to live the career without any regard to time off… not only will this NOT get you rewarded (in a long term sense) but you will burn out, fast.

    3) You can’t control how entire careers are run- sometimes you find something you love that just isn’t a fit for you because every job that is involved in the field is going to do the same things (again, in my instance, it was an industry of working with no time off, ever, period- which I refuse to go back to after I lost my 20’s to such a notion!)

    4)People aim to be rich a bit too fast. Sure, it’s great to have a 100k salary. But it can be MUCH better to have a 50k salary, if you can meet your living needs at 50k without struggling, and have a happier job/life balance. My first career job out of MSU I only made 30k. Now, that wasn’t quite enough (especially since I was in Chicago)… BUT, when I compare it to the experiences at my last few jobs where I made more than double that- the first job was SO much better, because I loved the people and what I was doing far more than the later companies. (Plus I actually got an occasional evening or weekend off… in between projects… twice. >__<

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