Monday, January 4, 2010

If You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It.

It's hard to top Yogi Berra when it comes to mixed metaphors. Another fun one is, "a nickle ain't worth a dime no more." Tell me about it Yogi.  Yogi did get me to thinking. I want to write about the proverbial "fork in the road".  Over the holidays we decided to take all of our old home videos and put them on Dvd's. I drove over to the little store that had done this for me in the past...closed. I drove to buy a little gift for a sick friend..the gift store...closed. Closed closed closed. These poor folks have, like Yogi suggested, come to a fork in the road and they had to take it. One direction...close. The other direction...close. This led me to ask my husband and my daughter about our "forks in the road." My daughter hasn't quite had to make those kinds of decisions, yet. But my husband and I surely have. We're talking major decisions that have a dramatic impact on your life. There's a line in one of the songs in the new movie Crazy Heart with Jeff Bridges (I will admit right now that I love Jeff Bridges) in which the main character sings something like this, I took a bad turn in the road and then every turn was bad bad bad. Read more...

My turn in the road: my divorce from my first husband. Why would that be such a dramatic turn? I had known my first husband since I was 13, and we dated throughout high school and into college and then married. By the time we divorced, I had known him 20 years. His family was part of me. But I had decided that I wanted more from life. I wanted a career and travel. This happens very often when you marry so young. You don't know who you are or what you want from life. And you end up wanting something other than what your spouse may want. I know many people who are married to their high school or college sweethearts and they have been able to work through these differences. My husband and I could not and I, frankly, began taking the fork in the road before I forced it on him. It was a difficult time and I had a difficult start (like finding out I had no credit in my name). But taking that fork is the best thing that I have ever done. I had a wonderful career in the travel business and I married a man whom I dearly love, have a beautiful daughter and have friends that I cherish. All because I chose to take the fork in the road (and luckily for me, the right one!). I think back about some friends from the past and wonder about their forks in the road. A girl I went to school with was one of the smartest girls that I know in mathematics. She truly shone. But she came from a very poor family and with, if I can remember correctly, 6 brothers or so. When it came time for the boys to go to school, the parents shooed them right off. When it came time for my friend, it's, you need to go to work to support your brothers. I think she went to one semester of college and then went to work in a local factory. Did she have any forks in the road she could have taken? Or another friend that everyone was convinced was going to be a CEO of a corporation or something really grand. And the fork she takes? Marries her high school sweetheart and moves to a small town. But as Seinfeld would say, "Not that there's anything wrong with that!" I'm just supposen, contemplating what choices we have in our lives. If we go down a fork in the road and it turns out to be a bad turn, regret isn't the answer. It's looking forward to the next fork in the road that may be the "right" one.

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