Saturday, March 27, 2010

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.

Isn't it strange the way life turns out? I once read One, by Richard Bach. It's a story about how our choices send us down a certain road. In the book, he and his wife get to travel to those other planes, or other paths and experience what their lives would have been like if they'd made a different choice. It's a fantastic read and has always stuck with me.

I have often wondered what my life would be like if I'd made different choices.

Recently, I've been able to reconnect with an old boyfriend. In truth, he's the only other man I've ever honestly been in love with. I've always wondered how he was, what happened to him, if he was happy, if he ever thought about me. We never really broke up, had a fight or hated each other, which is common when parting ways. He went on a mission. A couple months before he came home, I left on a mission. We sort of just drifted apart.

When I came home, there were things going on that kind of kept us apart, kept us from really communicating. I sometimes wonder what my life would be like now if I had married him. There are times when I wish I could visit that plane and see who I'd be.

Would I be very different? Would I be an author? I do know a few things. I wouldn't be living in Honeyville. It's the man I'm married to now who wanted to live in the country. I probably wouldn't have horses, or know the people I know. My whole life would have gone in a different direction if I hadn't married Bryan.

The point here is this, and you already know what it is. Our experiences shape us. They mold us. I don't know that I'd be a writer if I hadn't met Josi Kilpack and then Elizabeth Mueller, and they both live up here by me.

I certainly wouldn't have met my dear friend Natasha who got me started playing World of Warcraft which was also a tool that inspired my writing. It all worked together and here I am.

Would I change anything? There are times when I'd like to, but I wouldn't want anything I have now to change or disappear. I love writing. I love the country sunsets. I love my horses (and really should spend more time with them.) Sometimes, when I'm lonely, I imagine how different my life would be if I'd married someone else, but I truly am happy and love my life and the friends I've made.

If you haven't read Richard's book. Read it. It will make you think about your own life and the decisions you've made. Is the grass really greener over there? Would you be happier if you'd . . . ?

Who knows, but honestly, maybe not.


Aubrie said...

Sometimes I think about how far I'd be if I kept writing after high school or if I majored in English instead of music...but I'm happy with my musical career, so I'm in the same spot as you I guess.

Very deep post!

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Aubrie, I've wondered the same thing. I majored in music too. Weird, eh?

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I've often wondered things like this, especially concerning ex boyfriends. I intend to write a book based on this theme sometime and thoroughly explore what I think would have happened. :)

Caledonia Lass said...

I think the only thing I wonder about is if I had continued on with my art.
I had come to a difficult point in my life several years ago where I sat and seriously reflected on things.
I had to forgive myself and others for so much and got to a point where I do not regret the choices I made. I had to make my peace with it. I sometimes wonder what kind of person I would have been, had I traveled that other path. Then I stop and realize, I love where this one has taken me and wouldn't change it for the world.
By the way, I love that World of Warcraft inspired you to write! I played a text-based online role-playing game that inspired me. :D

L.T. Elliot said...

I've wondered but truthfully, I know I made the right choice. With all that I've been and all that I want to be, my husband and my life are the best things for me. I know it. Sure, I've thought about that other me but the me I am now is on the right path to meeting the ideal me--and that's just where I want to be.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Caledonia. Isn't that how it always is? I wouldn't change a thing either, yet we can't know if it would have been better or worse than it is now. I love how made made peace with yourself etc... Beautifully put.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Tamara-want to read that one! I've had the same idea, but it will be a while before I ever get to it!

M. Gray said...

I'm glad you've made GOOD choices, though. :) I'm SO glad I married my husband--especially when I think of the life I would have with a few of the other boys I dated. In fact, ON THE WAY TO THE TEMPLE TO GET MARRIED my ex saw me and my future husband driving on the freeway and rolled down his window to ask where we were going. It was so surreal, like someone with wicked horns was trying to stop us!!

But I do wish I majored in English or creative writing. *sigh* We move forward!!

elizabeth mueller said...

Hey, Melissa...I can feel your heart as you wrote this. Certainly the pathway you've chose now has you where you are at and if you'd have chosen differently, you would be else where doing who knows what. You are thriving in the world you're in and you have a man who loves and supports you in all you do and kids that adore you. :)

I know that if I'd stayed in El Paso, and married the person I was engaged to, I wouldn't be happy. The road was taking me FAR from the gospel, but I was fiercely involved with my writing even then. If I had chosen the guy before him, I wouldn't have been happy, either. He stifled my growth and didn't know how to treat women. I'm happy where I'm at and am glad that I had faith enough to trust my Heavenly Father when He said, "Mike's the one," after I took a faithful leap to start all over in Utah.

Tahereh said...

wow. what an insightful post. really makes you think.

thanks for sharing :)

best of luck with all you do!!

Theresa Milstein said...

I've always wondered about different choices and where they would've led me. I think we could live many lives and found "the one" in many different people.

All we can do is hope that we made the best choices for us in the long run. Right now, I'm at a crossroads.

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