When I was in sixth grade I wrote a paper that dissected what Robert Frost’s famous poem, “The Road Not Taken”, was all about. After reviewing it, my teacher had me stand in front of the class to read it. I remember seeing Mrs.Matt a few years later when I was in high school and she told me she continued to use my paper as an example each year. Trust me, this was a complete surprise as I was not the most solid student. Writing and the arts? Sure. Math, testing, and basically everything else? Not so much. However, I still think back fondly on that lesson and how much Frost’s words impacted me at an early age.
Despite that I can no longer recall my twelve-year-old brilliance I do want to talk about roads. Paths. Direction of travel. And like Frost, it will be of the proverbial sense, but I wanted to write to my fellow dreamers out there and make sure a little bit of the truth is being shared. Because the road less traveled is an option we are all faced with from time to time.
Is there a crazy idea that you have? An idea that has you jotting down notes, scribbling things on napkins, daydreaming from that windowless cubicle, but then gets stuffed back into the drawer? Or pushed to the back of your mind once again as you ensure the dreamer side of you that it’s just not possible? And why do we do that? Well, because of a thing called fear. The fear that you don’t have everything together yet. The fear that you don’t have the resources yet. The fear of what others will say. The fear that you may fall flat on your face because you aren’t ready yet.
Yet. I detest that word. I detest it because it literally stops us in our tracks and halts any movement or growth in what pulls at our heart.
Here’s the thing about not being ready yet. Those big and scary leaps, changes, decisions, and dreams…. you’re never ready for them. It’s just like when people say to prepare yourself before beginning your family. Listen, speaking from experience… no amount of anything can prepare you for having children. It is a wild ride and you learn on the go because you as a parent are an individual as well as each child. No one fits inside a box. It’s the same for those big dreams that we are so afraid of.
You never know what is ahead of you. Hello, 2020. Nothing is ever laid out in a perfectly choreographed routine. But isn’t that everything in life? When you wake up every day you have no idea what will happen or what God has planned for you. But you don’t think about that. You just wake up and live. You do it because you, me, and everyone else has since the beginning. So it isn’t scary. It has become our routine. Those big leaps, changes, decisions, and dreams? Not everyone is doing it. It’s not routine. That’s why it is so ridiculously scary.
And don’t think that others you have watched do it haven’t been scared out of their mind. It’s easy to look side to side and see confident trailblazers. Those individuals who have taken the leap and are on the other side of it. Please don’t be mistaken – they were scared out of their mind at one point. I know. I speak from experience. When my husband left his corporate job to stay home and build his own business. Or when I walked from that safety net of a job to focus solely on building my own brand while we simultaneously continued building his. And yes, even when we packed up our family of seven, left everything we owned and everything we knew in Arizona, and drove across the country to a place we had never been to build the life we envisioned for our family.
I was scared out of my mind in every single one of those situations. But you know what happens the moment you say you are doing it? That’s the same moment when courage shows up to walk alongside your fear. Because you committed. Because you finally said it out loud. Even if the feeling of fear was suffocating, you made the first move in stepping into your purpose. And that kind of move acts as a beacon. Like the Bat-Signal. And courage shows up to keep fueling you forward. Even when you are uneasy. Even when you have doubts. Even when you think you can’t take another step.
And once you have a taste of it? You won’t ever look back. Even through the sweat equity, the blood, the tears, and the pivots. That courage builds with each mile marker you pass and you will get more and more comfortable with continuing forward without seeing the entire roadmap. Because that was never the point. The point was to start. The point was to get uncomfortable. Because that is where the beauty lies in all of this – getting comfortable with upsetting the monotony of everyday life. When you can be comfortable with being uncomfortable. That, my friend, is where life is really lived.
Because you weren’t made to go through the motions. You weren’t made to do things because that is what, how, or why everyone else does them. You weren’t made to ignore the things and dreams pulling at your heart. You were made for much, much more. And deep in the quietest parts of you, you know it too.
And in my experience? The view is pretty damn beautiful when you live life on the road less traveled.