Road Less Traveled

Growing up, our future is pretty much drilled into our heads. We’re supposed to graduate high school, go to college, graduate in 4 years, find a career and retire. We don’t question it.

We’ve been taught since day one to follow those rules, even if that means to do things and have jobs we hate so that we have something to complain about with our friends and call that “quality time”. We’re told we should always take the easy road and play it safe, to do what’s guaranteed. But that route isn’t for everyone, some people get really lost on that road. Some people might not know what they want but would rather die than go down that road. Don’t get me wrong, for the lucky ones who have known all along what their passion is and what they want in life, having that plan laid out for them is a dream. This is not written for those people. What about the ones that don’t know what they want? Or the ones that have potential to do so much but do horrible on tests? Or have high goals for themselves outside of getting a degree? I just don’t see what the rush most people my age have to get a degree in something when many of them end up wanting nothing to do with their degree once they’re done. 

The most difficult part of not taking that route is listening to what you know is best for you, while trying to block out the advice coming from friends and family at the same time. Their hearts are in the right place, they want you to do what’s guaranteed because they want you to do well, they just don’t understand that it’s not for everyone. Don’t follow a path just because it was handed to you. Follow what you decide even if it’s not what you grew up thinking it would be or what your parents planned for you. Not everyone is meant for the 9 to 5, for listening to rules, for doing things that don’t make sense to them, for things they don’t even care about and pretending their boss is the smartest person in the room, all while pretending to love what they do. Some just want to do things that mean something to someone, that actually impact someone’s life. To experiment and create new things that make them want to wake up every morning and to be a better person. Theres a million routes you can take and not one path is going to be for everyone. You can get school over with first, wait to go, or you can not go at all, college will always be there when you’re ready for it. I am not suggesting not to go to school, that is not at all what I’m trying to get across. I’m suggesting that you stop expecting school to just hand you a life you’ll be happy with. Stop waiting until you’re done to decide what your options are. I’m suggesting you find something that makes you excited and inspired and you do that because you want to. If you quit, it was probably never for you in the first place, and when you don’t quit, you’ll be glad you didn’t settle. All I’m saying is that as long as you’re intentional about finding what your route is in life and actually doing it, don’t listen to what other people have to say about it, because they will have something to say about it. 

I hope someone found this helpful, 

Thanks for reading ☀ ☀

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36 thoughts on “Road Less Traveled

  1. So true. Many of us are not wired to follow what might be considered a “traditional route.” I know so many people that have followed that particular path and seemingly have “it all”, but are exceedingly unhappy and unfulfilled in their life. As you said, if you search for what your passionate about and go full-bore at that, you’ll be successful. I guess the point is, there is an infinite number of routes that will take you to where you need to be. Our challenge is to discover the route that is the purpose and meaning for us.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Kourtney, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I’ve learned we all must “discover who we want to be.” Its an intentional search filled with ups and downs, but one that’s worth it. When I was in my 20’s I listened to a recording from Earl Nightingale called “The Strangest Secret” that set my course. Earl is the father of the personal development industry. He recorded it in the 1950’s, but’s timeless. I think you would like it. The core message is in harmony with yours from “The Road Less Traveled”.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My parents had a hissy fit when I decided to take some time off while in university, but I went back, dicovering that working parttime and being a student parttime worked better for me. Still graduated, just 2 years later,and it meant better grades and a lot less stress.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. How incredibly true. I took the more common path…undergrad degree, masters degree, JD (law degree). My brother took a far less common path, just a taste of college, professional training. My brother is incredibly happy–and makes 3x what I make. Not every path is for everyone. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  5. i’m well past the age that you refer to, and what you*re saying still resounds with me. there are many crossroads along the road of life and i think every one of them can be better approached with the intentionality that you describe, daring to be who and what one is, assuming whatever the costs are of being truly satisfied with oneself. thanks for the beautiful inspiration!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It’s no easy thing trying to find out what your personal qualities are: it takes time to sort out that false starts from the true “paths with heart”. You have to try and experiment with different things sometimes, out of your usual range, in the hope that you’ll stumble on something that rings true . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I was and still am a person who doesn’t know what she wants. I just turned 29. Most people my age who walked the usual path of life would probably have an assortment of job and life experiences under their belts by now. I do not. I come from a family where neither of my parents graduated high school. So of course they wanted my brother and I to go to college. I understand they wished better lives and opportunities for their children but walking that straight and narrow path did not suit me.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Love this. Everything you say is so true. I knew it way back when I was a teenager but I still tried to do the “normal thing” and go to college and get a 9-5 because it was the “right thing” to do. But I was miserable. I still have a 9-5 but 15 years later I’m finally starting to do what I want to do with my writing and other aspects of my life. Some people still look at me like I’m crazy but oh well. It’s my life, not theirs.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Preach! I’m going to share this on Twitter. I went to college because of the whole “guaranteed” thing and went for finance. I never used my degree in the workplace. It didn’t seem to help. And now I just want to write. Wish I would have just became and English major instead.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. So true! I had expected my life to be the same as any other Indian girl – study, go to college, get a job, get married and have a kid by the age of 30. I graduated in college, worked in retail for almost 2 years and decided to start working on my own business! 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This is very inspiring and great advice. I agree we are unfortunately raised to fit in the same box and go along the same path. It is liberating to realise that it is the journey that brings happiness not our destination. If a fish believes he is inferior because he is unable to climb a tree like his monkey friend, he will always feel a failure. But when he realises his true purpose, his life becomes more exhilarating. We all have to find that true purpose which is unique for us all. Then we learn to enjoy the journey at each moment and stop aiming for happiness as an end result. Love your writing

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Thank you for sharing this. It’s extremely relateable, from various points in life where certainty has evaded me.
    But I agree that the social pressure to do something and become someone is killing a lot of people while they still breath.
    While I took the usual path, I did it on my terms in terms of the field I perused. That somewhere helped me retain my happiness and grow.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Dec 23, 2018 at 9:18pm JJ said:

    Interesting take, from one person’s perspective, Janice . But from what I have seen, many people are clueless as to what they want to do or are suited for. So they drift through life, working at “mundane” jobs, bringing home a paycheck. The author of that piece has good points, but not terribly realistic.

    Finding your dream job, your avocation and abilities are not always a reality. Someone may aspire to be a ballet dancer but have no grace. Someone may want to be a mechanical engineer, but cannot afford engineering school.

    Life is hard, and basically, we humans strive to survive.

    @permission given by author

    Liked by 2 people

  14. So relatable! It’s a sad reality how necessary degrees and certificates are to pursue any type of career path. Employers especially expect too much from applicants. Companies that train or teach new employees are rare nowadays. 😔

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Hi Defining Yellow, I must commend your creativity and the evergreen words you bring up each time you publish on your blog. You made my 2018 incredible and I always look forward to your next publications. In the same light, I have received a good number of likes from you on my blogs as well. It really gladdens my heart each time I notice your likes and comments.
    More importantly, I have a forthcoming publication titled ‘Voices’ and I am in need of contributing poets on this one. I am hoping you will be interested in contributing to this effort. ‘Voices’ as titled is meant to discuss about the different visage of love – sweet love and sour love. In this publication, each contributing poets will come up with two poems; one perfect love story and the other, a sad love story.
    I was studying at your blog and I discover you have done so much on this subject matter, if given the permission I will go ahead to pick from the poems on your blog. I am hoping to have (15) fifteen contributing poets; among these poets are: Robert Okaji, Ragazza Triste, Vinz-Double-O, Luna, Specsladeyes, Baffy Basics, Cubby, Shefali among others. Your contribution and support will be well acknowledged and preached.
    Thanks for your consideration. I hope to hear from you soon.

    Regards,
    Victor Eshameh-Giftedminds

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Your blogs always seem to come at just the right time for me. They are a blessing in so many ways. Even though you wrote this on the 19th I did not have a chance to read it until today and it was the perfect time for it. I’ve been struggling with what I’m “supposed” to do versus what I “love” to do. Thanks for writing this and inspiring me and others.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. I found that striving for the status quo turned me into a unhappy person. I did the college thing and my education did not net me the career choice I desired. About four years ago I found my true calling and I’ve been very happy following that road. It hasn’t been easy but at least I am having fun.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. There are no guarantees on any path chosen. And many think they know what their passions are only to discover other passions. Trying to decide what a lifetime will entail when one is in their twenties is difficult at best. It takes a lifetime to discover oneself. That being said, no one can take away any education earned so I see no problem with pursuing a degree while figuring out what you may wish to do. I noticed that your list of societal expectations didn’t include raising a family. That’s not required either, but I do think it is generally programed in our domestication process. All I would encourage is that you don’t fall for the superficial materialistic programming of this society and enjoy your journey 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  19. This is perfect! I’m a teacher and we often have college students come through for practicing hours for the education classes. You can see a clear division between the ones that have followed that path on their own and the ones that have been “encouraged” to follow that path by others. If your heart isn’t it it, it will be “work” every second of every day! Love this encouragement for those that don’t fit that 4-year college plan mold!

    Liked by 2 people

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