Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I repeated and overanalyzed the poem so many times that I can no longer determine which path is the one less traveled nor why it matters.
If you don’t know the poem I’m referring to, you are probably Gen Z and I will do my best to not hold that against you.
The poem is called “The Road Not Taken” and it was written by Robert Frost who is a very famous poet. You really should’ve learned this in school. I’m not sure why I have to be your teacher.
You’ve heard of Dr. Seuss, right?
Well, Frost’s poem is kind of like a grown-up version of “Oh! The Places You’ll Go.”
Here, read it. It’s short.
The intention of the poem is to motivate us to do things differently. To think for ourselves as opposed to just following the masses. To walk down the path less traveled.
So anyhoo, I got to thinking about these two roads, one more traveled and one less.
The thing is, I’m not sure the less traveled path is always the best.
The Benefits of a Well-Traveled Path
There’s a well-traveled path for a reason.
After all, when times are tough, when we are emotionally and mentally drained, and the road ahead is intimidatingly steep, it sure helps to have others close by to lift us up and carry us forward.
The well-traveled path is packed with people who know the way and can guide you. There are colleagues and mentors and bosses galore.
Because of this, the well-traveled path isn’t so lonely.
Do you know what’s lonely? Walking down a path that is untraveled. That’s what’s lonely.
Do you think people are climbing Mt. Everest on the road less traveled? Spoiler alert: they aren’t. Why? Because they’ll probably die.
The popular path is proven. It works. It’s oftentimes the best route to get to your goal.
Then again, the popular path might just be the easy way out. As we all know, personal growth doesn’t come from the easy path.
You know what, you can spend an entire life standing at the crossroads, coming up with a never-ending circle of justifications as to which road you should and shouldn’t take.
And yes, that’s exactly what I’ve done. But there’s a reason I’ve overanalyzed it – a reason beyond those voices in my head that make me do these types of things.
The reason is that we do, in fact, have two choices in life. But the paths are a little less subtle than Frosty describes.