One of my daughter’s favorite (at the current moment) music artists is Lauren Alaina. She recently came out with a song called “The Road Less Traveled”, and Morgan can’t get enough of it. Morgan and I recently went to a concert and Lauren was the opening act (and the best performance of the night!). This new song sparked a great conversation between us.
The other evening, as we were driving home from school, Morgan asked what taking the road less traveled meant. Does it mean that you drive down a road most people don’t know about? Or does it mean you take different roads that other people aren’t on to get to where you’re going?
All of it! I had to explain that taking the road less traveled is actually a metaphor, and her interpretations of the saying could also be metaphorical. Taking the road less traveled means going your own way, regardless of what others are doing – so, yes it does mean going down a road people don’t know about (or are afraid to go down) and it does mean going down a different path than others to get to your destination. Perhaps even paving a path that never existed before.
Taking the road less traveled means being free and brave and fearless in creating the life you want. It means going for it, even if you’re scared shitless. It means not conforming to the ideas of other people who often take the road more traveled, and it means refusing to go down a path that society deems acceptable, because you truly want to go another way.
Often times, we don’t want to be the first person to go down a path – to create and pave the first road – because we let fear, anxiety, or insecurities stand in the way. Maybe that new path isn’t the easiest one to go down, but it will likely reap the best reward – and if it doesn’t, than you’ve gained invaluable life experience. (On a lighter note, while hiking through the woods, it is probably best to take the trail more traveled, unless you want to end up lost – that has been an invaluable life experience I have gained.)
Be different, be unique, be YOU! The bravest thing in the world that each of us can do is be ourselves. Encourage each other, help each other, cheer each other on as we take risks and create new paths for ourselves and for others.
Towards the end of our conversation about the meaning of taking the road less traveled, Morgan thoughtfully declared, “I think our family takes the road less traveled.” That simple statement made me feel a surge of joyful accomplishment, knowing she had made the observation that our family does indeed take the road less traveled.