I have always been fascinated with the many points in life where we face forks in the road. None of us can escape these forks! Robert Frost gave us beautiful advice when he told us “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by; and that has made all the difference.”
Whenever I reflect on Frost’s advice, I always feel a surge of inspiration to make better choices aligned with my life purpose. And the advice is always right on: I end up feeling more fulfilled, having more fun, and creating more abundance than if I had played small. Yet, what if the fork on the road is less about playing “small” vs. “big”, but a decision that creates more serious consequences?
When I moved to the US from the Dominican Republic in middle school, I encountered quite a bit of bullying. I went straight into ESL classes; the bit of English language that I did know was filled with interesting pronunciations (e.g. I used to say the number three as “tree”, and athletic sneakers as the chocolate bar “snickers”…I now consider these quite cute!) and a slew of instability did not help the situation. Fast-forward years later: I had graduated from the Wharton School and had started a job at JPMorgan when I went to the movies and decided to buy some popcorn. When it was time to order, I realized the person serving was one of my worst, scariest bullies. She was as shocked to see me as I was shocked to see her! We started talking and she told me how after our time together in middle school, she started hanging out with the wrong crowd at her high school. She enrolled at the local community college but ended up dropping out. At that moment she expressed how she was trying to get things back in order. I was shocked and sad; she had been considered one of the smartest girls in the class.
At some point we are all middle schoolers. And at some point after that, we start making different choices. What if those choices are the difference between fulfillment and frustration? Joy and resentment? Stability and depression? This could not be more clearly exemplified than by the example below. Please take a look at this video, where two classmates that played in the school yard together meet again in the most surprising of circumstances.
What can YOU do TODAY?
- Can you remember a time when you faced a fork in the road with others, and can now see how lucky and blessed you are to have taken a more fortunate path? When I go back to middle school and realize my bully was as young and innocent as I was when we faced our fork in the road, I feel a tremendous amount of empathy towards her.
- Is there someone in your life right now that is causing you stress? If you close your eyes right now and visualize them as 3, 5, or 7 years old, what opens up within your heart?
I would love to hear from you, so please leave any comments or questions below! What forks in the road have you faced? How have you made different choices you are now grateful for? If you enjoyed this post, share it with your friends and family!
Lots of love,