What Ifs

Question Mark Graffiti

Question Mark Graffiti (Photo credit: Bilal Kamoon)

It is cold, rainy and wintry, by Central Texas standards, and the absence of sun seems ripe for contemplation. Although I try not to let it happen, today turned into a “what if” day. Don’t you hate those days. What if, I done this differently? What if, I done that differently? What if, I’d stayed in New Orleans all those long years ago, instead of moving to Texas? What would my life be like? What if, I listened to all those people who told me that my life was over when I made the foolish mistake of becoming a teen aged mother? What if, I believed that I was destined to be yet another statistic and on the public dole with no education or skills to take care of myself or my children?  I’ve concluded that engaging in these “what ifs” comes down to questioning ourselves and our past choices, a yearning for ‘the road not taken.’ 
Recently, I was reading bits and pieces of my twitter stream and someone referred to the phrase “the road less travelled,” which is often used in reference to Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” As I recall, I read the poem for the first time in an high school English class. http://www.bartleby.com/119/1.html At the time, the wannabe rebel in me, wanting to set her own path and follow no one, assumed that, Frost was advising that, when faced with two forks in the road, one trodden by the masses and the other, not so, to take the road less traveled. I was wrong because in both stanzas two and three Frost asserts little difference between the roads.
He writes,
“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”

I think that it is the final paragraph that informs us of the true meaning of the poem:

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.
Frost’s use of the words “I shall be telling this with a sigh” indicates a sense of regret and wonder about the choice he made so long ago. In hindsight, even he wonders how his life would differ had he chosen to trod the other road. Although even amongst scholars, the poem’s interpretation is in dispute, I believe the poem is about choice in general, hindsight and especially, regret wrought by a choice between those equally appealing options.  
Our life is but a series of blind choices. This applies to every decision in our lives–one choice, means the exclusion of another choice. Mom was right, you really can’t have it both ways. We make our choices based on blind faith and without fore knowledge of where the choice will lead us. In most cases, the choices are easy. In others, when we are forced to chose between equally compelling options, the choice is far from clear. Instead of resorting to “what ifs,” after determining the pros and cons of each choice, and the information at hand, we choose; then we pray for the best or release it to our God/Spirit/Source, for that is the most that we can do. In choosing, we necessarily reject options that only the fates know where they would lead and minimize the “what ifs” that will lead you no where. We chose, we live and time will tell. 

Still learning

BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 24:  Primar...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
A couple of nights ago, I was skimming through my past journal entries. I find they provide me a concrete reminder of my past thoughts, challenges, and growth over the preceding years. I usually read them with an eye towards the growth that I’ve made over the years and to glean the areas in which I need to concentrate to further my, especially, spiritual growth. Because of the events discussed after the jump, my mind settled not on the area of growth but on the fragility of life and the many things that I wished to accomplish and learn before I left this world. 

After a long period of zero energy, May 2010, brought me a most welcomed gift–an upward shift in my energy level. So, it was with gusto that I took out the camera and how-to books to teach myself photography. I also fired up the Rosetta Stone Spanish computer program to finally learn the language at the level of fluency, as I’ve always intended. Further, I even created a website of my own at flavors.me. I was on a roll. 

May, 28, 2010

…To another, this day may have been viewed as most unremarkable, and in fact scarcely memorable. As I love to tell everyone who will listen, I am not like everyone else, and to me, this day is notable and will be remembered because instead of letting life pass me by, I joined in my life–with a gusto.  For the past 2-3 weeks, I’ve accomplished tasks that had gone undone, some as long as a year, but most for 3-6 months. It is irrelevant that I have been physically unable to do them, because for now the sense of accomplishment is palpable and makes me yearn for more. 

June 1, 2010

Good morning sunshine. Positive thinking is queen and I have to drop kick the negative out and welcome the positive in. I realize that I have a choice, succumb to the negative or embrace the positive where healing can and will happen. Much like Michelangelo’s belief   that “every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it,” I believe that there is a healthier “me” waiting to be set free….God look down on me and protect me tonight.

 He did. I am still here. 

On June 2, 2010, my doctor sent me to the emergency room because of increased difficulty in breathing and pains in my chest. I figured maybe pneumonia; in reality, I was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism in each lung.http://goo.gl/Ruse. Yep, just like that, my world changed. 

I am back to pre-May energy levels, that is, not much. Yet, I find that I am learning more then ever. For starters, since the embolism, I started this blog–something that I’ve longed to do.  In fact, my “things to do” list has grown exponentially since June 2nd, and in spite of a lack of energy, I whittle away at it almost every day.  As Michelangelo so aptly put it, “I am still learning,” and that means that I am still very much alive.  Blessings and love,

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