Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Road Not Taken.

I love Robert Frost. He is my favorite poet. I could read any of his poems anytime. But I have always loved this one:

The Road Not Taken
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.

I always get kind of pensive in March, for several reasons. First of all, it is the month of my oldest son's birthday. Almost 17 years ago my life changed forever. I became a mother. 15 years ago this month, I became a homeowner. But 5 years ago, my life changed forever in a different way: I became divorced. It was a long and painful process, which ended as abruptly as cold water thrown in your face. I knew the papers had been signed, I knew the judge would sign them, and I would get notice in the mail that things were final. But I wasn't prepared, 5 years ago today, when I opened a surprisingly small envelope from my lawyer, and was greeted with this opening line: "Dear Ms. F., You are officially divorced." I can still remember exactly where I was standing on the sidewalk in front of my house, with the strange feeling of wind rushing in my ears, feeling a little dizzy and a little sick. I was divorced.

So what roads have I traveled in the last 5 years? Have I taken "the road less traveled"? Have I made a difference? I made so many goals and plans for my life 5 years ago. Many of them I have achieved. I made many promises to myself, mostly with regard to the children. Some of them I have lived up to, some of them I have not. I have made a lot of mistakes.

Am I better off now than I was 5 years ago? Yes.
Am I a better person? Definitely. I am infinitely more interesting and unique than I was.
Am I happier? Yes. I didn't know it then, but I certainly know it now.

I didn't want my divorce. In fact, I fought it. But my life in the last 5 years has become so much richer and fuller than I ever thought it could be. Would I do it again? Probably. I would have given anything to keep my children from the pain of divorce, but for me as a person, yes. That which does not kill us makes us stronger. I have emerged from these 5 years much, much stronger.

And there is so much more to do, so many more "roads" to travel.
Happy Anniversary to me.
J.

6 comments:

Fleur de Lisa said...

Frost is one of my favorite poets too. I grew up reading his work and this is a great example.

We really never do know where our paths will take us in life, do we? I know I've been surprise. Happy, but surprised.

Tomorrow is finally Friday! Hurray!

Sayre said...

Exactly. For all the heartbreak and disappointment in my past, I am so much happier now than I had ever imagined I would be back then. I have become very strong. So have you - and we are old enough to know it!

Jay said...

Happy Anniversary!

You're strong and smart. You can take on anything and overcome all obsticals.

FindingHeart said...

To quote another great poet, "Keep on truck'en!" :) I can barely imagine 5 yrs from now and you seem to be still making movement in the positive direction. Good job.

RWA said...

It's amazing how most people have that one month out of the year where so much has happened in their life - good and bad.

Happy Anniversary!

J. said...

Seriously ... that is my alltime favourite poem.