October 29, 2015
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’ve thought about Robert Frost’s famous poem, The Road Not Taken, several times in my life.
I thought about courage when I bought an unplanned lone plane ticket to Europe that landed in Athens, Greece and departed from Florence, Italy a month later. I thought about conviction when I left my residence in San Francisco, quit my corporate job and moved back home to Elk Grove and started a nonprofit. I thought about passion when I fell in love with a broken father, a veteran with a traumatic brain injury.
I’ve been met with scary and hard choices that left me bewildered. Times when I can see far down one beaten path with comfort knowing it has been traveled before, while also seeing another untraveled path – a route more difficult and unpredictable. It’s beyond our human nature to choose discomfort over comfort, after all, why work harder, if you can get to an end goal easier?
It’s not the end or the destination that makes you powerful – it’s the journey.
It’s in the journey that we grow, learn and evolve. It’s the priceless revelations found within our human spirit to overcome challenges and navigate through obstacles that ultimately bring value to our lives. While there will be negative distractions, decisions and days that will deviate you, the light in your heart, the vision in your eyes and the truth in your being will overcome. I can remember countless moments when I lost myself in the presence of negative energy. I fought shame when I was bullied in high school, I fought guilt when I was undergoing an eating disorder and I fought fear when I became unexpectedly pregnant twice.
The only way to get mentally, physically and spiritually stronger is to challenge yourself – question your belief system, surround yourself within a different environment and extend your limits.
So I’m here at a crossroads – once again – in my professional life. I’ve mulled over possibilities in potentially committing myself in a new effort alongside the additional sacrifices me and my family would make. I thought about our long term goals, my support system and my level of comfort.
What I realized in my deep reflections, is that I’m really comfortable. While I struggle to stay afloat sometimes, most of the struggle can be done while sleepwalking.
I have a steady daily routine. I wake, train, clean, cook, work, work, work and sleep. I know how tomorrow will look and how the holidays will unfold. While I have a new product and care home, nothing has scared me more than the opportunity I was presented with recently. This upcoming potential project made me feel a variety of emotions but the overriding essence was Fear. I was scared to fail, scared of the sacrifice, scared of the pain…I was scared of being truly uncomfortable.
Despite the fears, I kept peering down that dark Rabbit Hole. Staring at the dark abyss of possibilities. That fear haunted me and magnetized me. The voice in my head said ‘you can’t do this’ while the voice in my heart said ‘you’re damn right you can.’ So I’m choosing to get out of my way. While I could fall…
what if I fly?