There are these moments in life that remind me of the poem by Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken.”
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.
Lately I have felt as if I stand at that crossroad looking down both roads and wondering which I should take. The first path is well-trodden and my feet know the steps along the way. I could blindly follow that path to its end with maybe a few bumps along the way.
The second path is more a mystery. I can only see so far down that path, before the overgrowth and turn in the road hide it away from me. I’m unsure of the roads condition or the steps along the way. It could be an adventure or a disaster.
I stand at the crossroads, contemplating which of the two paths I should travel. For more than a year I’ve been in conflict with myself over the preconceived notions in this world of what must happen in my writing, marketing, and with my children. It’s been stressful and unpleasant. And I find myself questioning them all. Why?
Why do I have to do it that way to be successful as a writer and mother? Why must I travel the path they have laid out for me? What if I want to do it differently? Will I really be less successful? Somehow I doubt it.