Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Trail Not Taken

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

-Robert Frost

I’m sure most of you are familiar with this poem.  It’s a beautiful poem with great meaning…and one that I have come in to question in a slightly different way.  If you look into my past blog about free-will or destiny, it may give you a little more background information into my thinking.  Regardless, I’m not sure what path to choose, because I really just don’t know which path, or in my words “trail”I am supposed to choose.

Now I realize this is a common predicament among those graduating from college.  However, I 100% on my career path; I want simply want to be a Difference-Maker.  Particularly, I want to work with children (sometimes better understood as “little adults”).  The next obvious path is finding a job, right? Well, maybe not…

 As I have found out, the trail chosen does not always lead you to where you thought it. I, a relationship skeptic (often looking down at the whole concept), was not planning in love this year.  I was planning on moving out west by next fall and working for Americorps or some similar employer.  However, after being turned down by a few, I kind of stopped looking.  I have had a 2nd interview at a YWCA in Columbus working in the Kid’s Club and being able to develop my own programs (essentially, what I like to do), I’m just not sure if it feels right. Additionaly, I just found out my internship supervisor at Forbes House, the Children’s Domestic Violence Specialist, is leaving and they will be looking for a replacement.  I mean it would make sense for me to work at either place…they’re both jobs in the area I want and could lead to further opportunities…but is that my trail?  (But in considering my background as an ultra runner…) Or is it a road 5k?  (Yes, I know 5k can suck too, but you get my analogy).

Hopefully I’ve explained things enough so that you can how I’m a little bit confused.   I thought I would be prepping for my final few months in Ohio then to be heading out West, and instead I’m in a very strong relationship with my boyfriend with no plans yet to get out of here…  But my ideas are flowing (I just can’t decide if I’m crazy or not…everything sounds good in my head, but then as soon as I say them out loud I feel a little foolish.

Okay, so on with my “crazy” ideas:
In my junior year of college I, with the help of my sister and guidance counselor, created the program “Empowering Youth through Volunteerism” and last semester I wrote a paper titled “Compassionate Kids” (see past blog “Little Adults and Big Kids: A lesson in Compassion”). When I created the program, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t doing it just to do it; I wanted to put it into action.  Then I must have gotten the notion that it would be too hard or very unlikely to work out.  (Obviously, that is still a nagging outlook I have.) Then again…

What is the BIGGEST way you can think of to make a difference?  Seriously, if someone wanted to change the world and make it a better place, what do you think the best way to make an impact is?  For me, the answer is obvious: empower our children.  This means working at prevention and not intervention.  Get to the children early, reinforce love, teach compassion, kindness, and let them know they have the ability to achieve their dreams.  In most cases, this may mean showing them what is out in the world (impoverished children are unlikely to have opportunities to see beyond their hometown and privileged children may not realize the need others are in).  Let them know, with service projects, they have the power to make a change now.  My theory is that if we instill children with compassion and empower them at a young age, they will grow up to be philanthropic adults, who will continue to spread compassion with the rest of the world. Here the possibilities get very large; as adults, they may be inspired into action of creating better solutions to America and world problems…maybe even figuring out a better way to settle a disagreement than having a war over a silly power struggle.

Because that is what war often is… A bunch of power hungry people who get very mad when they don’t get what they want and take it out on others… they are bullies.  They were probably bullies as kids then grew up to be one as an adult.  Recently, the bullying epidemic has come into view all over America.  Many schools are instilling bullying programs, but bullying is still going on.  I believe this is for 2 reasons: 1) the programs are started too late and 2) they are still focusing on the negative, bullying.   

Ideally, I would want to replace bullying programs with ones teaching compassion.  While this message should be instilled a birth, or in the education system at pre-k, I’d like to start my program between 1st-3rd grade.  Many of you who have been around children of this age know that they can be highly impressionable and easily absorb information.  (On a side note, one evening at Forbes House I was preaching about the importance of eating your veggies, and the children actually ate salad!)  The program would be year round, occurring once or every other week for at least an hour (and the message re-instilled by their teacher daily).

But where would I start?  This idea may sound great and all, but is it feasible? And a lot of work!  I’d probably get shut down by schools and organizations time and time again!  Plus, I have like, zero credentials.  I don’t even officially graduate college for another week!  Yup, off to the nut house I go…
or at least a job in the non-profit/service area.

I keep asking God for a sign, something, anything!  Well, actually that is a bit of a lie.  I need a sign that’s big so I REALLY know…like something to hit me in the head (I can be a bit oblivious).  Usually I do this prayer when I’m trail running.  (I was not asking for a sign when I saw the very large black snake a few days ago, thank goodness, because I wouldn’t know how to take that.)  As far as I know I haven’t got one, but there are these:
  • I have a very supportive boyfriend
  • I am currently reading the book “Race to Grace” about an “Iron Nun” (a nun that also happens to compete in age 80) who created her own path through her commitment to God, her travels, her races, and service to others.
  • I have been “rejected” by Teach for America, City Year, and several AmeriCorps positions.
  • I’m an ultra runner; I know how to work hard and endure, facing hardships but finding great benefit.

Anywho, to sum things up, I don’t know what to do.  I still have a want to travel out west, I loved Nevada when I was there in March.  Right now, I’m just a bit burned out from the past 4 years of college and everything else I done in the past few years.  This may sound lazy, but I need a break!  I kind of just want to relax, read, and run.   Until July 31, I really just kind of want to train for Burning River and let my mind recover (with of course some volunteering and exploring/researching some subjects I’ve never really had the time to do).  And this may really sound silly (there are a lot of very talented runners!)…but I truly believe that if I work hard and train right, I might be able to place at BR.  If I receive any money, I’d really like to go on a mission’s trip to Africa…

But I’ll stop there for now.  At least I know that if I follow the blue blazes I always be on the Buckeye Trail :).

Happy Trails,


1 comment:

  1. No matter what you choose you will have the opportunity to make the most of whatever circumstances you find yourself in. It won't always be what you expect, just gotta grow with it yo!