I found myself at a very real crossroad. It didn’t take much to close my eyes and see it. As the decision came closer and closer, I didn’t even have to close my eyes; it was always there. I saw it when I accepted my ring, I saw it when I packed my apartment, I saw it when I said goodbye to college friends, I saw it when I entered the church on our wedding day. Two distinctly different paths. One that I knew – that I could picture every single detail of the future. The law school I wanted to attend, the area I wanted to practice, the place I wanted to continue to enjoy my youth. The kind of loft I wanted to live in, the city I wanted to enjoy for 4 or 5 years and then return to the city of my birth. I could see the bowing oak trees and restored shot gun houses. I could see far down that road where I eventually would marry someone who had grown up in this same place, knew these same things, had the same faith, would be home every night. I could see the career I would keep when I finally had children – the career I wanted so badly for myself, the dominating part of this road. There was sunshine and comfort and near certainty that this was where my life was supposed to go – this was who I was supposed to be.
And beside it was another. It was far away and unknown and horribly unfamiliar. I couldn’t see past this one step. Picturing this in my mind literally knocked me backwards when those church doors opened and I walked in. I was scared. I was overwhelmingly terrified of the unknowns of this road.
I continued to be scared while I waited in the back room. While I looked at the faces of his grandparents. While I looked at my friends who supported me even though they didn’t understand. My sisters. My mom. My dad. I was scared when we sang the fight song for my college –appropriate because I felt like I was about to walk into a battle. One of the biggest challenges of my life – to take the road I knew or to take the road less traveled.
I was scared as I peeked through to see my brothers seat my mom, when I watched my sisters walk, my best friends. I was scared when the doors were opened and the two paths stood before me.
I was scared when I took the first steps. I was scared when I looked at the faces staring at me, smiling, winking.
It almost felt like my dad was holding me up – like I wasn’t even walking. I just kept seeing this path – this black, hazy path – of the unknown of life or death, of harm or safety, of home or someplace else. There were no bending oaks and greying moss, no colorful houses, no familiar roads, no familiar churches, nothing I could be certain of.
And then I looked forward. I looked forward and saw this man. This man who stood so very straight, smiling at me with a glow that made it all disappear.
Because this man was my path. This man was my known in an unknown, my home anywhere we would go, my comfort through the trials. This man was my path, my partner on the journey, and all I could see was him.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
It has made all the difference.
It has made all the difference.