Posted by: effingwishes | April 8, 2010

The Path Traveled verses Less Traveled

We all do it. Stare out the car window at the places we are speeding past – wondering what the lives are like of the folks we pass… Did they have a bad day at work today? Are they happy? What is that on their lawn?

Ever notice that the longer we look out the window, the more distorted our own selves look in the reflection back at us? So if we can’t stare out the window, what should we look at? The road ahead? The road less traveled? What the heck did I just run over?
Ultimately the internal question becomes, How the heck did I get here?

“I want to be a Toys R Us kid.” I believe this commercial was the first time I realize that you have to want to become something as an adult. Schooling posed one purpose – prepare you for your future. Neat.

Through-out my childhood I wanted to be a myriad of professions. The first job that I remember wanting was to be a mechanic. I was 6 and had a great pair of pajamas that looked like a mechanic’s overalls. Once I out-grew them, I went onto thinking I could be anything and everything else. Dad used to say I would be a lawyer and a Congresswoman. I thought the length of time, and money, to accomplish that was a bit unreasonable. In hindsight, the length of time I have spent after college on my MBA and several post-graduate certificates, I could have very well just gone to law school. Oh well.

So, how the heck did I get here?

Here? Where exactly is that? Life, location, happiness, satisfaction or something more concrete?

I loved to travel. In the pre-9/11 days, when wandering the airport was no big deal, I would hop on the train and spend the day wandering O’Hare or Midway airport. No one seemed to notice or care that an average looking kid was just sitting watching the plane land with no parental supervision. I thought it was amazing how people could get to anywhere they wanted and travel thru the sky.

I figured I would be one of those people who took the Less Traveled path throughout life. I would be fearless and confident and go wherever the wind blew. If you looked at the number of times I’d moved, or changed states from the ages of 17-27, you would think I kept true to my childhood hope. However, I am not sure that is quite the case.

Now I am on the Path Traveled. Traveled by habit, traveled by need, traveled over and again because that’s what expected. I know the route, I know the speed traps and I know where to get a cup of coffee on the way. I’m not saying this is a bad thing; it is just the road I’m on. But I still stare out the car window and wonder.


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