9 In Others / General

The path less travelled

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

This is one of the few poems that I know and it’s also my all time favorite. First heard of this poem when I was reading Big Bang’s biography 세상에 너를 소리쳐. It was included at the back of the book, together with the Korean translation. I thought it was really apt to describe the journey the big bang boys travelled from being trainees who were uncertain about their futures to one of the biggest Korean groups now. That book was just one word – inspiring and same goes for this poem.

I have never wanted to be different and I always thought that I’ll trod the “safe” path but the single decision to study Korean has pushed me further and further away from the “well-travelled path”. Some may envy the “different or unique”, admiring them for their courage to do something different. Perhaps it looks cool, but the path is always fraught with obstacles, uncertainty, fear. As much as I try to follow my heart, there is always this sense of insecurity and a trickle of self-doubt. I’m steering more towards uncharted waters. If I succeed, I’ll be deemed cool, courageous and admirable. If I fail, I’ll get all the “I told you so” comments and disapproving looks.

You’ll never know unless you try 

In the end, I want to be able to tell myself that I’ve done my very best. I’ve mentioned several times before and I’ll say it again. I was never someone who will put 100% effort into anything. 대충 is my favorite way of life, I do enough to be satisfied. It’s only until I’ve started learning Korean that I began to push myself to give my utmost and to keep challenging myself. I’m not sure if that’s a 100% effort, but I do know that compared to how I normally do things, I do put in a lot more effort in Korean. I refuse to take NO for an answer and will try my best to push for what I want. I always believe that it’s not easy to find something that you are passionate about. It’s a gift and if you do not put your utmost in it, it’s like doing it injustice. ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

So I’ve made my decision.

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  • Reply
    15 June, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Could you provide the Korean translation too?

    • Reply
      15 June, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      GOOGLE The Road Not Taken번역.

      IT’S NOT that hard 🙂

  • Reply
    15 June, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    우와, 드라마 같아요. 다음에 무슨 일이 있을까요?

  • Reply
    Clayton Wong
    15 June, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Ironically, my friend and I were talking about that very poem yesterday! Thanks for the post and real-life application of it.

  • Reply
    16 June, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    You say you don’t know if you give a 100%, but every time I read all the studying you do, I feel like such a slacker when it comes to my own language learning, haha.

  • Reply
    16 June, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    I can really relate to what you’re saying.
    In my mind I have also chosen to go the path that I want and not the safe way, but I’m constantly doubting if I should take the safe way instead. At those times of doubt what really helps me is a bit of imagination and a few scenarios.
    I imagine myself at my future job. A minimum of 8 hours a day at a job I dislike, however well-payed it is, seems like hell to me (I can imagine because I have a well-paying temporary job that I hate). And when I come home, I won’t have the time or energy for my hobbies, either. I would probably have a lot of chores at home to do, and more research/preparation for my work. So basically your job makes your whole life.
    And then I imagine myself at my deathbed. When I’m old and I look back upon my life, will I be proud of myself for going after my passion? Or will I regret safely living decades of depressing lifestyle?
    These thoughts really help me to reinforce my decision, however hard it would be to achieve what I want.
    Best of luck to you.

    • Reply
      2 July, 2013 at 11:48 AM

      True words. I go through the same doubting process but every time I think of the “safe alterative”, I also wondered if I’ll just turn into an empty shell going to work, doing things I have do and coming back home and sleep. x.x For years and years … Already I’m losing myself and all I’m doing is really grasping at that tiny silver of hope. If I caved and submit to the safe path, I think I’ll end up hating myself. I’ve also made my decision and I try not to think about it in case I start doubting myself again. sigh. Good luck to you too! 😀

  • Reply
    29 June, 2013 at 5:18 AM

    I know how you feel, these days, I want to go experience ESL teaching in a different country before I graduate, but many people including my parents say just finish school first (but you know the typical asian parents – doctor or something that earns a lot of money). I know it won’t be easy, but I want to experience another culture and see if I like teaching as much as I say. I just wish what race you are and whether you have a degree or not shouldn’t truly matter, but how much you are devoted to the matter. Sorry just a rant about what happened with me. But I’m sure you will reap the rewards sooner or later for what path you chose!

    • Reply
      2 July, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      I know what you mean (: Hopefully the path for you will become clearer in time! I have also been in situations where I lost certain opportunities because the timing wasn’t right and things that I just have to give up. I believe (or rather, I want to believe) that good things will happen to you if you keep up with your passions, interests or simply be perseverant enough. (: I really hope you will have a chance to go! 😀

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