The road less travelled by.



Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

This quote was recently mentioned in the book I’m reading and I’ve not been able to get it out of my head since. It is an extract from The Road Not Taken, a poem by Robert Frost and the image it conjures is rather powerful. I see a dense yellow forest, not too dense as to block out the sunlight yet dense enough to hide the horizon. I’m standing at the crossroads, a certain stillness weighing on my chest.

Which road am I meant to take? The clear path, trampled by many determined souls pursuing their goals? Or the road less travelled by, bending further into the forest and softly whispering “choose me”, tempting, like a lustrous red apple begging to be picked from the forbidden tree.

The more I think or it, the more I feel like I’m re-living an episode of my past, a powerful déjà vu I have to fight one more time. Human beings are endowed with the power of choice, the ability to reason beyond the survival instinct prevailing in animals. I suppose it is a privilege. But the power of choice is also a curse; it leads confused architects/writers/pianists/who I am’s like me to question every single step they take.

When I graduated from high school in Bulgaria, I was faced with a choice. Take the path to France, the one 99% of my fellow classmates were taking, the one that came with an earned bursary to study in a French university. Or wander off to England, against the current and everything I knew, with no bursary and no fellow classmates.

I chose England, of course, because I like to challenge myself (is what I tell recruiters but the true reason, I have not found yet) and that has made all the difference in so many ways I can’t, for one second, regret my choice. In others words, if I could go back to Sofia, to that moment I found out I received a bursary to go to France, I would tell 18-year old me to follow her gut. And pick England all over again.

Today, I stand in the woods again, thinking, wishing 2 years from now me could pop in, show me the way and dissipate into thin air again. But of course that only happens in fiction. The real world works in different ways. And in the real world, the little voice inside my head, as terrified as it is anxious, is suggesting I take a leap of faith and move to Paris.

I guess the wind of change is blowing after all.

18 responses to “The road less travelled by.

  1. I love the photograph, and this post. Choice can weigh so heavy at times it becomes difficult to make, and then we become stuck. Go with your instinct, listen to the little voice and see what unfolds. You can always come back if you wish :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would love to be your blogosphere companion in Paris. Good luck choosing. This post has made me think of choices I’ve made. I got married (in 1971) instead of following the hippy trail through Afghanistan – 4 children, 4 grandchildren, a country life, and a companionable husband make that choice a productive one that I’d absolutely make again. I can also remember a lesser moment of choice: sitting in the car at a crossroad wondering which way to go when there was no particular reason to choose one way or another. That time the choice led to crater lakes, lava tubes and koalas.

    Begs the question of course: what would the other choice have led to?

    Good luck choosing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah that is a dangerous question to ask – I try to steer from the what ifs but of course, we all wonder.
      Your choice sure was worth it. 4 children and 4 grandchildren! Amazing. I am intrigued by “hippy trail through Afghanistan” though. What would that have entailed?


  3. Ah yes the tyranny that is choice. A couple of clichés to help you. The only certainties are death and taxes. Try everything once except incest and folk dancing. And one of my own. The only thing you can’t change is having children

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What’s the the phrase, “Paris is always a good idea.” The Road Not Taken is comforting and unsettling at the same time, especially if you know you pretty much always take the road less travelled. When you ask yourself the why and how and come to terms with internal fears choosing change can be much less daunting. Just remember you have already successfully taken the kind of road you are contemplating.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It sounds like France wants you. I personally have always wanted to live in Paris (at least for a little while), so I’d take any opportunity to find myself there. I learned something a few years back that helps me make choices sometimes. Maybe it’ll help. Basically, you ask yourself which decision aligns with your core values and life goals.

    Something I read recently: You only regret the decisions you didn’t make.

    Good luck with the choice making. I’m sure whatever you’ll decide, it’ll be good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, Ula!
      I’ve been asking myself this question and to be honest, both Paris and London align. But as I’ve already done London, maybe it’s time to head for Paris. :)


  6. Those decisions can be agonising. But once you’ve made them you will feel light as a feather. Uprooting is a big decision, but it’s reversible. You can change your mind at any time. Sometimes you just know in your gut what the right thing to do is, and we all need to try and listen for that. The agony you are going through is good. It means you won’t make your decision lightly, and you won’t make a mistake. Trust yourself. Only regret the things you didn’t do. And never let an opportunity pass you by. Two clichés which go hand in hand, and which have been a little mantra for me over the years. Life is for LIVING! There’s another one for you, lol! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Clearly, I’m getting to these posts in reverse order as I’m catching up, so we all know the decision you’ve made. But it’s a massive decision, and you should feel proud of yourself for simply making that decision. I know people (who will remain nameless) who can’t even make a decision about what to eat when they go into a restaurant. From that perspective, whatever the outcome, you’re a winner already.

    Liked by 1 person

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