The tale of the road not taken. . .

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both”

This eternal regret of not having travelled both (or more) possible paths is not rare.
It happens with each one of us, at some point in life. Well, more often than not.

You are left wondering, “What if…?”, for all your life.
It’s not a particularly good feeling. This is because we, humans, seek closure in our lives. We do not like hovering in the corridors of uncertainty.

We seek certainty – results – a yes or a no.
You wish to know if you had been any happier, had you ventured down the road not taken. Or had you been sadder?

You want to know for sure if you’ve made a mistake. Not because you can go back on the decisions already made. But, just because you HAVE to know. Anyhow.

There is this persisting fear of having lost out on possible happiness, or on better times.
It is the most unsettling feeling.

Most parts of our lives are one way streets. They are points of no return. You take one road, and your fate is sealed – for the better or for worse.

There’s no going back. There’s no way of knowing, if the past’s been a mistake.
But, perhaps that’s the beauty of life.

There’s peace and solace in not-knowing.
Too much information can be harmful and far more unsettling. There’s so much meaning in uncertainty.
It is good that some facts are concealed.

Else, our lives would be full of regret and “Only ifs”.
It is, therefore, good that we do not know. We do not know what the road not taken had in store for us.

Some things are better left to God. Or, if you do not believe in one, then call it destiny.

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13 comments on “The tale of the road not taken. . .

  1. Beechmount says:

    There is always some intrigue in ‘uncertainty’. It is the temptation to take a look at what’s on the other side of the fence, or take a different road on the journey through life. Quite like you say, we can’t take them all, but it is never too late to backtrack if one takes the wrong road. Failing to do so will result in an unhappy life. Is it perhaps not unlike graduating from a college or university, only to find out that your talents lies elsewhere, that you would rather have studied something else. It is never too late to return to your alma mater and study what you really want, although economic constraints may delay such a step.

    Destiny is not something that is pre-ordained for anyone, it is something that a person controls himself. What you decide to do becomes part of your destiny, so keep deciding to do what you want, what you would like out of life, for you only have one life to live.

    PS/ You have 49 watts of energy in your brain. Energy never seizes to exist.

    Cheers from Grandpa

    • Very rightly said. Destiny is not pre ordained but depends on our actions. As you point out, going back to the Uni to take a course again might not be easy because of economic constraints, but it is not IMPOSSIBLE, if one is determined. Thank you for your thoughts 🙂

  2. I called with one of my friends over the phone yesterday. Its again a coincidence the conversation was about the road that was not taken.

    I still had regrets of some bad decisions I made in the past.

    But this is what he had to say – There’s no such thing as a bad decision! If it turns out to the be a wrong decision the answer is to make it right!

    For instance you play a game of hockey or soccer and the opposition scores a goal. It’s not the end yet! The game is not lost or won until the last bell goes. So give it a fight. 🙂

  3. I had a call with one of my friends over the phone yesterday*

    • Beechmount says:

      Hello Allwin,

      It is interesting how English is used in India. I’m sure the expression “I had a call with one of my friends over the phone yesterday” is perfectly normal and correct in India, but here in Canada it sounds wrong. You would say: “I talked to one of my friends on the phone yesterday”, or “I called one of my friends yesterday”- ‘called’ is automatically interpreted as meaning ‘on the phone’. There are so many ways of saying it–‘I chatted with a friend of mine on the phone yesterday- or —I contacted a friend of mine on the p[hone yesterday–right down to the more down to earth expression “I was shooting the bull (or sh..) with a body of mine on the phone yesterday. In Australia, you might say: “I talked to (or called) a mate of mine on the phone yesterday.

      English is such a versatile language and it is interesting to note the variations in its use around the world in countries where the language is used daily.

      Take care

      (old grandpa shooting off his mouth)

      • Thank you Grandpa for pointing it out.

        As you said we in India often use that expression. I never knew that it was wrong. I’ll correct myself. Do correct me whenever I am wrong. It will help me improve.

        Thanks again… 🙂

        Grandson… 😀

      • Jessica says:

        You’re so kind to share your thoughts and grammar tips, Grandpa. I’d been thinking the same thing myself. It reminds me of two friends of mine in Hong Kong. The elder–a lady who has taught all over the world for more than 40 years–taught *her* Hong Kong grandson better English. Today, he is her teacher’s aide. It’s a wonderful thing to be a mentor.

  4. Jessica says:

    I have always felt that, so long as I make the best decision I can with the information I have at the time, there can never be reason for regret. You can’t know what would have happened if you’d done something differently. And, really, it doesn’t even matter. The “what if’s” are a part of fantasy land. They’re not real. What’s real is the decision you made and the result that you’re stuck with. It could be that, later, after a decision has been made, you wish you’d make another. But you can’t know that at the time. So there’s no use beating yourself up about it.

    The only time for regret is when you *knowingly* make a wrong decision. And then you have no one to blame but yourself.

  5. That is an incurable itch. Knowing that you messed it up! You keep going back to it all life long.

  6. pseudomonaz says:

    I believe we always have an option to go back and correct our mistakes. The only thing we’ll lose is time. And the fear that we won’t be able to start it all over again holds us back. If we can’t go back then its better to accept it as our destiny and move on. We always have 2 options in life, either to compromise or to fight for it.

  7. simplyMohit says:

    Final year exams going on, and I get to read this encouraging post about uncertainty and expectations. For any student it always is a nightmare contemplating about what the question paper has in store for them. I guess it is the essence of all human activity.
    Too good Subho Da 🙂

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