Two roads diverged in a yellow wood …
Here in the UK it’s A’Level results day, the day when you find out if you did well enough for university! I remember it well. Had a lot of pressure on me as I needed ALL As to get into vet school, a dream I’d had for a long time. I did get in although I only had two As and needed three! See what I mean about pressure! But since the third was still a pass and it was physics I was allowed in if I took a year out which I did. I worked in a vets full-time! Then went off to Liverpool Vet School.
I had to eventually convert that success into a Biology degree as ill-health struck in my second year and I only did three years on the vet degree. See, even the best plans and dreams don’t always work out the way you want! And boy did I want it. But you can’t control for illness. And of course I was to learn that lesson later down the line when I was all set to live in this lovely house and have children with the love of my life and it struck again. This time for Lee and as you know he died the first night we moved into the house we had put all our dreams into. Paths change. Life is unpredictable. There’s a fragility to everything. But we have to use that to empower ourselves to move forward. I am glad of the path I find myself on and now with three degrees I think I achieved more than I ever thought! But the sadness that creeps in from the edges is not having Lee to share any of this — although when someone is inside you, in your heart and part of you, then they will alway be there, right? There are always places for the light to get in.
And it’s the third degree that now hangs with pride on my wall! The MA in Creative Writing. The steps I made to be happy after Lee left for his cloud. I had to find the real me.
So, you see, what life has taught me so far is you must have a dream. You must have a path. But sometimes life has other plans for you. The test is to realise perhaps there is a different new way, and follow that. I’m glad I did. I am right where I want to be and perhaps always wanted to be since the first dream I had was to be a published writer. So the path was convoluted and painful along the way and there will be moments like those again. The trick is knowing you got through it before and you will again. By doing what makes you happy. Always.
So for all those now setting out on your journeys, opening those envelopes with trembling fingers, and for those already well along your path, remember: no matter what life throws at you, there is a shiny path with your name on it and no matter how many twists and turns along the road to get there — you will make it. I know it’s a cliché but it’s true: the tougher the road, the more you learn and the more you appreciate. I would not be who I am today if I had not taken this path. To coin another cliché it’s not the destination that makes you who you are but the journey. Now some might say that’s what we have to say, tell ourselves and perhaps we make excuses for the path we take, but since life is about perception, better to see the sunlight in the rain that just the dark clouds, right.
… and I took the road less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.