A Fork in the Road | making decisions

Feb 5, 2015 by

A Fork in the Road | making decisions

I remember a time when I was teaching “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost to seventh graders. The opening lines set the stage for a conversation about making decisions and how to decide on  good ones.

“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;”

We discussed courage as a positive character trait and why it was a courageous decision for the traveler to choose the road that fewer people traveled. We wondered, aloud, why most travelers would choose the well-worn path rather than the one “less traveled by”.


Finding the path to happiness| www.lovetheeveryday.com

When I look back at the last few years of my life, I wish I had taken a moment to remember this poem. I too read it with one of my high school teachers, but I don’t think they ever mentioned how this particular poem could be a metaphor for life. I wish they had.

The idea of leaving the familiar and traveling out into the unknown would have really resonated with my younger self. Coming from a tiny farming community in upstate New York, I was a truly sheltered young lady when I went off to college. I had convinced myself that I wanted to return to my home town, teach and be a farmer’s wife. I’m sure I would have been happy with that life, if that had been the cards dealt to me, but instead (and it took years of trepidation before hand) I finally stepped out to try new adventures. I was finally able to make life altering decisions.

Leaving New York was not something that most people I graduated with attempted. My graduating class was only 34 people, most of whom went on to become young parents, work on their family farms or attend community college or trade school. These classmates of mine are successful and happy in their choices, and occasionally I envy their closeness and the normalcy of their lives. I envy that they get to be home, and that they live in the comfort of the familiar.

I went to college and came home to live with my high school sweetheart. He is a good man who works hard and makes solid choices. I loved him immensely. He is dependable and honest and content with his life. He is a hard worker and a kind person who took really excellent care of me, he was my best friend. We helped on his family farm, bought a puppy, and went through several years of life together. Eventually though, as first loves tend to do, things fell apart. I wanted to get married, and he did not. Typical story I suppose. Although I admire the kind of man he is, and love him immensely, we needed to go our separate ways.

Doing so brought me up on the brink of one of those terrifying, fork in the road, life decisions. The kinds of choices where you truly do have to decide to either take a path that many before you have, or to venture down the path that might be a little more difficult. I can’t imagine being any more nervous than I was in this chapter of my life.

The path of least resistance may have been to stay in my home town and try to make a life there…. Instead, after many years of debating, I applied for a position serving with Americorps and moved across the country to start again.

After months of praying, and asking God to show me the right path to take, I think I’m finally on the road that God would have me on. Realizing, finally, that I am unable to travel both roads, and that full commitment to the way God is leading me is necessary for my own happiness has helped me to be able to fully capture the joy that life has to offer.

Full commitment to the way God is leading me is necessary for my own happiness. #godstiming… Click To Tweet

I had spent years teetering on the edge of anxiety attacks and wondering why I didn’t deserve the happiness that seemed to come so naturally to others. Lately, I’ve come to realize that we are all personally responsible for the joyfulness of our lives. I think this crazy life I lead has allowed me to be more proactive in seeking my own happiness and also pressured me into focusing my energy on taking every, single, beautiful moment and relishing it.

Making decisions, especially the tough ones is not something that comes easily to anyone. I find I am particularly prone to indecision. I’m working on it though.

I’m sure to make more mistakes, and I know that sometimes this path will be a bumpy one. I have found joy and I know that when those “two roads diverged in a wood and I- I took the one less traveled by, (and) that has made all the difference”.

I’ve come to realize that we are all personally responsible for the joyfulness of our lives.… Click To Tweet


  1. Wow this really hit home for me today. I’m currently at a major fork in the road. I have an excellent opportunity to move to a different state, but I’m so anxious about it because it means leaving my comfort zone and the life I had planned for myself. It’s only for two years (it’s a graduate school) but I have so much anxiety over having to make a decision soon! I’m worried that whichever I choose, I’ll regret it 🙁 thanks for reminding me to seek happiness no matter where I am!

    • Oh wow! That sounds super exciting! I have learned that I am much more likely to regret NOT doing something than I am to regret doing it. Good luck in making your decision!

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