Sunday, September 16, 2012

two roads diverged

I got in!

I got in to Northwestern's graduate school of journalism.

Me. At the the same Northwestern of Rachel Nichols. And Gregg Easterbook. And Michael Wilbon. And Rich Eisen. And one of the Mike's of Mike and Mike.

Two roads divered 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.

I thought deciding to bite the bullet was the hard part. I thought getting my butt to Starbucks for 8 hours every Saturday and Sunday through-out the spring was the hard part. I thought memorizing that massive stack of vocab flash cards was the hard part. I thought remembering the Pythagorean theorem! How to find the slope and incline of a plane! Solving for the square root of x! Irrational numbers! was the hard part. I thought taking and passing (98 percentile in Analytical Writing, thank you very much) the GRE was the hard part.  I thought getting in was the hard part.

I never thought deciding whether or not to go once I got in was going to be so darn hard. And yet, when faced with the opportunity to chase down my dream of reporting live from the sidelines of the NFL and continuing on this path, I was stuck.

They say to trust your heart. They say to follow your gut. But what about when your heart wants one thing and your gut, despite how much you wish it weren't, is telling you another? Deciding which one to side with is the hardest part.

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.

When you're growing up and learning how to make decisions you're taught that there's a right, and therefore a wrong, choice. But as you grow up you learn that, often times, it's not as black and white. Instead there are just two options. Neither one is right. Neither one is wrong. There are just two roads, diverging in a yellow wood. Equally laying in leaves no step had trodden black. No right choice. Just your choice.

And so you make one. The best decision you can make for yourself. The one that gives you peace of mind, even if it brings you a few tears. The one that leads to what you hope is the brightest future. The path of least regret. I'm not sure if you're ever 100% sure. You just choose a path and take the first step. Then the next one. And step-by-step (ooooh baby. gonna get to you girrllll ... who doesn't think of NKOTB every time they hear that saying!?) you travel down the path. Because the worst choice is no choice.

I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: two roads diverged in a wood, and I...

And that has made all the difference.


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