Daily Prompt: By Heart
You’re asked to recite a poem (or song lyrics) from memory — what’s the first one that comes to mind? Does it have a special meaning, or is there another reason it has stayed, intact, in your mind?
Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’ comes to mind for me. I can still remember the first time I heard this poem read in my seventh grade class. The words vibrated strongly across my heart, mind and soul. I carried a copy of it with me years.
I wanted to be that person who always takes the road less traveled and forge my less traveled path. I wanted to be an artist, even knowing I would struggle and life would possibly be hard. I wanted to change the world for the better. Instead I allowed society’s pressures on what type of life is the best get the better of me. I did continue to forge my path but it wasn’t that different from any other. I started my company, did it well, settled down, did that well too, or so I thought.
It took me years to wake up from the nightmare I had allowed myself to become trapped in. It took years for me to realize I had not traveled the road less traveled or forged the shiny new path I with all my hopes and dreams. Instead I had let them slip to the wayside. I was no longer an aspiring artist. I stopped writing and reading, two of my favorite past times. I stopped doing all the things I loved or that fed my heart, soul and mind.
I still remember the day I awakened from my fog. The day the realization hit that I wasn’t happy. The day the illusion popped. I had money, cars, the big house, a husband, my family and so many other things people, including myself, think they want, they need for happiness. I was a slave to all those things. The one thing I wasn’t was faithful to myself and I wasn’t happy.
I went online, found the poem, read it and started to cry. From that point on, I vowed to find a way to make my hopes and dreams happen again. I left all the stuff and things behind. Yes, life got a lot harder but it is better. I begin to find happiness again. I got to know myself. In fact, I’m still learning. I’ve picked up the faint lines of my path, meandering on, waiting for me to discover what lies ahead.
I don’t know exactly where that path goes but I’m excited to find out. I hope by the time I reach the end, I will know and understand what it means to live true to one’s self. I also hope to have realized some of those long-lost dreams. Maybe some of them have changed now as I’ve gotten older and hopefully wiser. The one truth I do know is that I’m living life for myself and make changes accordingly in the hopes that one day I will do the things I have set out to do.