… and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. (No, not by me, by great poet Robert Frost!)
I first came across those couple of lines at an English test, where we had to write an essay about what those words could mean. Those words by Robert Frost impressed me so much and described my life so well, even then, in my young adult years, that they stayed with me all those years.
Let’s briefly dissect the lines, shall we? “The road less travelled by”. To me, it represents the more difficult path to take, a life more unusual than the common “married in your twenties, two kids, a dog, a house, two cars”. “And that has made all the difference” … well, of course this could be seen either in a positive or negative way. In my case … it’s both. It made me who I am.
Thinking back to my less than normal life, it probably all started in my middle school days. I just didn’t quite fit in. One example? I didn’t care about the latest fashion – which were to possess ripped jeans and Levis 501s were a must. I never submitted to peer pressure, I wore what I liked and it didn’t matter whether those jeans were no-names or Levis. (And believe me, my parents had enough money to buy me a couple of Levis jeans as well!) And even at that age I already knew very well what’s right or wrong, that one asks for things and not just takes them. Which the girl sitting next to me – when pointing this out to her since she just took whatever she wanted from my pencil case to use – took so badly, that I was subjected to more than 3 years of mobbing. Yeah, school definitely sucked! Luckily, I could soon escape to Styria where my weekend life took place. Going out with friends, having dancing classes … and literally being with people who were already university students and not as silly as my classmates anymore. So, not the usual way to spend one’s teen years.
University … oh boy, I certainly took the difficult path there. Instead of studying something more girl-like, like economics, languages or anything else to become a teacher … I decided to become an engineer. At a university which already had the reputation of hardly being manageable in the minimum study duration. Of course, I didn’t either. It was a difficult time and I came THIS close to giving up … but I didn’t. I fought my way through, studying for horrible subjects with lots of mathematics (so not my thing), very often all alone, because my friends were ahead or behind. My life revolved around my studies and working. Tutoring children. And at the end of the day I was just so happy to be home that I barely went out. And large student parties were not my thing anyway. So, my student years – apart from the very first ones, before I had to earn my living – were not like everyone’s else either. My free time I rather spent with my beloved Aunt Do instead of with fellow students. And I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Well, moving to another country in my mid 30s, alone, to start a new job and life, was not the easiest path either. I could have stayed at university, in the same rut, teaching other students … but I didn’t want that. I wanted to have a real job, earn money and finally enjoy my life without pinching pennies (or cents). And since I had already lost my parents, my home, nothing held me back. So, not common either. Being an orphan at my age, unmarried, single, without kids.
Yeah, I guess I tend to take the path less travelled by all the time. And as difficult as everything is at times … my past and my decisions made me the way I am and I’m glad I’m not one of those boring people stuck in their boring 08/15 lives …
2 thoughts on “TWO ROADS DIVERGED IN A WOOD …”
You just describe a brave woman working in engineering and science field. Once I was a roommate with a Bulgarian physicist when I was a graduate student. She told me that she loves physics, but she doesn’t love the work environment, which is somehow making her feel like an outsider. I guess there are not many women in the field of physics. And she said her passion for physics are not so high that it can make her ignore of her environment. I guess as human, we all have times when we don’t feel like fitting in … We can really relate…
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I took a well-travelled path but liked to walk on the edge of the road!
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