We’ll bet you, like, a million dollars — or maybe just a really. big. ice cream sundae — that you read Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” at some point in your school career. Allow us to refresh your memory…
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,And sorry I could not travel bothAnd be one traveler, long I stoodAnd looked down one as far as I couldTo 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 thereHad worn them really about the same,And both that morning equally layIn 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 sighSomewhere 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.
If you’re anything like us, it’s that vision of the one less traveled by that’s stuck with you most in the decades — but not that many decades, obviously — since your English teacher read this poem at the front of the classroom. As the poem describes it, this road is still covered in grass, since it hasn’t yet been worn down by the soles of hiking boots and Nike sneakers (or flip-flops, for those less prepared for a long walk). To us, at least, that sounds a whole lot more appealing and picturesque than the more heavily trafficked path. The ‘grams are bound to be a lot better there.
Let’s be honest, though: Choosing the so-called road less traveled in life is about a lot more than finding the prettiest walking path in the woods, and it’s a lot bigger than even the most famous of poems. There are actually so many ways to live on the road less traveled.
Here are some of our favorite less-traveled roads…
- showing up for yoga — or taking a butt-kicking online class — when everyone else skips their workout to chill on the couch for Sunday football
- saying a polite “no thanks” to the hummus and pita and proudly digging into the chicken wings when it is time to chill on the couch for Sunday football
- knocking on your neighbor’s door to say hello, even though you don’t have anything specific to say and are basically always in a rush
- treating yourself to a big hunk of chocolate cake for breakfast
- booking a crazy exciting travel adventure three days before the start of a holiday weekend
- openly standing up for what you believe in (respectfully, but confidently!) during a tough conversation with friends or loved ones
- breaking out into your best (or worst) dance moves halfway through a yoga practice
- taking it upon yourself to take on a totally creative project at the office, even if it’s not something your boss has assigned
- challenging yourself to turn off your screens for one hour each evening so you can have a conversation with a different loved one every day of the week
- saying “no” when the easy answer would be “yes”… and “yes” when the easy answer would be “no”
Taking the road less traveled is all about doing things differently. And you know we’re all about that.
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Woods image: Valeriy Andrushko/Unsplash