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The Road Less Traveled

Last week, as I sat on my couch staring into the abyss that is my television screen, fighting what was by far the worst virus I’ve ever experienced, I couldn’t keep my mind from reflecting on those pesky ‘what if’s’ and ‘could haves.’

As you know, I was laid off this past February when the company I moved to Charlotte to work for just 3 years prior, dissolved to due heavy financial issues spurred by poor upper management and a complete lack of leadership. In April, just a month and a half after being laid off, I was given a new opportunity to work for a small company I knew very little about, but had briefly interacted with in the past. Things were rocky to begin with, as I had to adjust to an entirely new style of management and workplace culture. Some days I didn’t know what to do other than cry and question my own skills and knowledge, wondering if I was as qualified as everyone seemed to believe. Tomorrow I celebrate my 6 month anniversary with this company and my tune has changed to one of gratitude. Gratitude for opportunities to learn and to develop myself professionally and for taking a leap of faith.

Here are where the ‘what if’s’ come in. If I had any inkling that the layoff from my seemingly ‘dream job’ were to happen, would I still have picked up my life and moved away from my family, friends and now husband? Even with all of the incredible people who have come into my life over the last 3 years and the obvious maturity and confidence that comes with moving to a city where you know nearly no one, would I have given all that up for what’s comfortable?

The person I was before all of these changes would have answered ‘no’ to all of the scenarios. Because really, why fix what isn’t broken, right? But the person I am now would say yes to the leap of faith in order to experience even three years of professional happiness (with its ups and downs) and to be able to grow and develop as the person I was begging to become.

Could I still have developed the skill and passion for long distance running by staying in Arizona? Maybe. Would I still have married the love of my life without our relationship going through the struggle of being long distance for nearly 8 months? I seem think so. Would I have stayed with the company I worked for out of college forever? Not likely. So really, how valid are those ‘what if’ questions? Knowing that things would have changed for me regardless of where and when those changes occurred, makes me even more confident in my decisions. There are few poets who speak to me as completely as Robert Frost does. I took the two roads God laid before me, took the one less traveled by, and it has absolutely made all the difference.

The Road Not Taken

BY ROBERT FROST

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.
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