Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
On the off-chance you’ve never heard that before, it’s by Robert Frost, not me, but I appreciate the sentiment.
I know I probably seem a bit obsessed with decisions, but I have big plans, and making decisions scares me. No matter what I ever choose to go with, I will always wonder what it would have been like had I picked the other option.
Regret is the worst feeling in the world. I know it’s easy to say in hindsight, but it’s awful if you’ve been that close, and willingly picked a different path.
I’m being very vague and wishy-washy here, but I did make a decision, but I’ll never ever know whether or not it was the right one. One’s memory is never perfectly accurate; you leave out the bad bits and remember the good bits. SO what if, when the time comes round for what I chose, it’s not as good as I remember? What if it hits me that I was ridiculously stupid and should have grabbed the opportunity as hard as I could?
I read this thing before, in the back of an old chemistry book. It was a story about a guy who went to a palace. The prince of the palace gave the guy a spoonful of oil, and told him to go around and admire the wonders of the palace, without spilling the oil. The guy came back, unsatisfied, as he had the oil, but had been unable to admire the treasures. Again the prince sent him off, this time telling him to just admire the surroundings. He returned, but with no oil.
The prince told him that in order to be happy he had to enjoy the wonders and treasures of the palace, but to never forget about the spoonful of oil. A bit like Frost’s poem, it’s just one big metaphor. The palace represents what you want in life, and the oil represents your responsibilities. The true secret to happiness is to go through life enjoying what you want, but always remembering your responsibilities.
It’s true I think. At first I was like, ah feck the responsibilities, but when I thought about it, I realised you can’t do that. If tomorrow I decided I was going to drop out of school, leave my family and friends, and just get away and do what I want, I’d never be happy. Aside from any financial problems I may encounter, I would forever have this niggling feeling that I should be getting an education and living with family and friends.
Coming back to my decision, I try to relate it to this. As much as I try though, I really can’t see how I would have been ignoring my responsibilities by seizing the day and taking that opportunity. That particular palace wouldn’t have made me spill the oil.
I’m making such a big deal out of it all, and I analyse my decision every single day. Chances are I’m remembering the palace as being alot more amazing than it ever was. After experiencing part of both options, I made a decision. That decision was influenced by others, I know that, but I still contributed hugely to it, so surely it’s what was right to do?
I hate not knowing. Sometimes I wish I could gaze into a crystal ball and see what the correct decision was. But life doesn’t work that way.
You can only learn from the past, and mistakes are the greatest teacher of all. It’s true, even if it completely and utterly sucks.