The central message in this poem is that, in life, we are often presented with choices. When making a choice, one is required to make a decision. Here the author is viewing a choice as a fork in a path, it becomes clear that in life we must choose one direction or another, but it cannot ever be both.
This has been a year of pretty major decisions, some made for us, some made easier for us and others that were soul searchingly difficult. Hours of discussion and deliberating the ‘what ifs’, the ‘what shoulds’ and the ‘what coulds’ …. Time spent weighing up all of the pros and cons. And I will not lie, it has been difficult …. for everyone, making choices that will have a huge impact not only on our work but also personal situations and knowing that what is right in one context may create conflict with another. Acknowledging that the ripple effect of any decision made is far greater than the initial act itself.
How do we even make those decisions, selecting which path we walk down when they diverge? Sometimes both options look equally appealing as in the poem, or equally challenging. You may just rush ahead, you might know exactly where to go or you could spend ages trying to look ahead, scanning the future to try and see what is coming before making a decision but ultimately you have you just bite the bullet and take one. But it is what we do and how we think once we have made that decision that is so important. A commitment and determination as well as a resolute approach that you want this pathway to be the best path.
Consider also though that perhaps there isn’t a road that you want to take at all, perhaps you will choose to go cross country, forging your own path. Trampling through the undergrowth, getting caught in thistles and your shoes getting stuck in the mud. It may be very challenging. but this is your trailblazing path. Remember, the thing about being a trailblazer is that no one has been there before – you will be showing the way and being the example for others to follow.
These are the decisions that make you who you are, every choice is a turning point and will give you new experience and build you as a person. Your decisions are what will make you an individual, what make you unique. So be happy with your decisions, be firm and confident with them and when you look back remember that you chose that path because you believed that at that time, in those circumstances, it was the right one. Looking back on some of the choices made at that fork, maybe you will think that you took the wrong path. But remember that it will have led you to where you are, which isn’t so bad…not at all.
When we are young, most of our big decisions are made by our parents, they are the ones weighing up the choices and choosing the roads that they believe will have the best possible outcome. They are making decisions that they believe , at that time, with all things considered, are the right ones. And as parents, it is important that we remember that, and don’t let that pesky hindsight rob us of our original true intention and motive.
As we grow up it is not our parents or our friends who will decide, but ourselves and we face more and more decisions. If things are tough, or don’t go our way, we cannot blame the weather, or whether we are happy or sad or angry, we cannot blame our age. Everything we will do will be based on our choices, we will be responsible and must face the consequences of those actions. This will be our chosen pathway, so we must make these the best, the very best decisions that we can so that. In turn, we will always be our best self.
Enjoy your journey. Make time to take in the view. Let each step count and see each encounter as an opportunity for personal growth.
I would therefore urge you that whatever you choose to do, there must be no regrets, only lessons learned and personal growth. Try not to regret a choice and wish that you had done the other thing, thinking that the grass is greener on the other side, because, sometimes that grass is not always greener and if it is, you may find that it is artificial grass. You can’t spend too much time dwelling on the “what might have beens”, it will eat you up and life moves forward, not backwards. As the expression goes: “Don’t look back; you’re not going that way.”