When Robert Frost wrote the poem, ‘The Road Not Taken’ he was on to something. I took a leaf out of his book the other day and decided if things need to change in my mind then I must initiate the change and take it forward. Not every change is for the best. But every change is worth a try. So I did find time to cook and I also found time to read, that makes me happier than usual. When breaking out of familiar parts there’s a temptation to stay in the comfort of the shade that life so far has given you.
You might have noticed, that I have departed from the pattern of beginning the title of each post, “The.” After 50 posts though even I got bored. Also, I won’t lie it’s not easy to keep forming titles with, “The.” You start to run out of ideas. Yes, the road not yet taken. I don’t really believe that there is ever a road not taken, that’s where I disagree with Frost. There can only be roads that are not yet taken. These days it’s so hard to find those. Everybody wants to be different, ultimately making everybody’s aspiration the same- to be different. It’s very interesting.
For a long time, I wanted to be different too, leave a mark on this Earth that is unique to me. Eventually, I realised that everybody already is. Being different is not a choice it’s how we already are, we’re already unique. It’s when we really try that we end up doing things others have done. I believe that being myself is the easiest thing to do, so I have never had role models or inspirations. I’m not trying to sound pretentious or like I’m showing off, but honestly trying to be like somebody else is really difficult. It might be the hardest thing to do. We think we know everything about our role models. But our experiences are different, our personalities are different, everything is different. To want to be like someone else is a fatal mistake.
The reason why people are successful is only that they have no qualms being who they are. My grandfather used to tell me to try and be, “distinctly different from others.” Somewhere I knew I already was, and it goes for everyone. I’ve never seen two people exactly alike, even twins. I think it’s a good thing. We’re chasing ‘types’ of identities instead of trying to work at being better versions of ourselves. The only thing about your role model that should inspire you is their unique talent or personality, not them in their entirety. So, in that case, I have many inspirations, I look up to many but that has only pushed me to be better in my own way.
Whenever I’ve tried doing something different, it’s either ended up looking like a poor imitation or just a disaster really. It used to frustrate me to no end until I realised unfortunately that I am not like those people I was trying to be, I don’t have the talents they have and probably never will. I didn’t know my calling, I still don’t. But I am hanging in there just holding on to myself. I should tell you, I still don’t think too highly of myself. For a long time, even I found myself weird just like everybody else, I wondered why my personality just refuses to confine to the ‘normal’ standards whatever those were?
Now I have embraced my weirdness but I still haven’t found a way to use it. I am still struggling to find my ground. I am not sure what my selling point is, maybe it’s my killer good looks or my soaring intelligence (please note my sarcasm). But I’ll just be happy if I make it to 80 at least with teeth and hair intact. My ambition isn’t to change the world or to be a billionaire. My ambitions are pegged at being able to afford a motorbike, pay taxes, travel a bit, afford three meals a day and pay bills on time. It’s quite mundane. But yeah my middle-class dreams are what they are. They’re not too glamorous but they’re still mine.
Very few people aim high and reach that, but if I had such a dream I’d break under the pressure I’d put on myself. They tell us to aim for the stars, that’s all well and good but I say aim for the stars so you can reach the branch of the tree next to you. Everyone should set goals but don’t expect to get a 100 percent on the first try is what I mean, put in the effort like you want the 100 so that you can at least make 75.
There are many roads yet to be taken, but everyone wants the road already taken, just because someone else made it and it seems safe. I am sure I’ll get lost on my road not yet taken, I have not even found it yet, or I might be on it I don’t know, but I know when I get there I’ll get there. I don’t want to be on a road already taken and keep feeling like I’m never going to get to the end or I have to get to that end in record time. Wherever there is pressure I put my tail between my legs and run. I know neither options are great, it’s a calculated risk. But, if I succeed on the road not yet taken I’ll be seen as the first success and if I fail I’ll at least be known as someone who tried when no one did. It’s the easiest decision I have ever made.