Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Two Roads, and I took the one less traveled by

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.

In 1995, my seventh grade teacher, Mr. Palmisano (who I had a huge crush on) handed out poems to our English class. One of these was written by a guy named Robert Frost. It was called The Road Not Taken. I never really enjoyed poetry very much but Mr. Palmisano had this effect of making me fall in love with this one. And as I was grew up, I firmly believed that by becoming an attorney, I actually had taken the road less traveled. This was a popular thought because by the time I was a licensed attorney, there were way too many attorneys available for the demand necessary in our society. Along with the invention of the smartphone, being an attorney became a 24/7 hijacking situation of which in 2015, I decided I no longer wanted to be a member.

This road to St. Croix is definitely the road less traveled and many times, not taken (and I think my parents still wish I hadn't taken it although they love the beach at Hotel on the Cay so that's something :)).  It's been almost a year since I set out on my big move that I dubbed "New Beginnings" and while I can't believe I actually did this, I'm so glad I did. In the last year, I learned that you know you live on St. Croix when you have no water when the electricity goes out, and when killing a 4 inch gigantic cockroach is no longer worthy of a Facebook post. In the last year, I found a job in management that I really wanted, I made many new friends and I found someone to have a relationship with who loves me even though "Ancient Aliens" is one of my favorite shows on TV.

I started writing this blog because I wanted to keep in touch with my friends and family back home, but I have received so much more from all the people who ready it everyday. Last month we broke 10,000 page views and I have made friendships with many of my readers and I have even had the cool opportunity to meet some of you who will be moving to the island very soon! During this whole experience, I began to really appreciate the world around me. I can be driving down the road and see piggies on the side of the road and cows in the pasture, and I can go into a very indoor type of store and see wild birds going up and down the aisles looking for their favorite products. I can also see goats, horses and chickens everywhere. And my favorite part is that I am almost devoid of having advertisements shoved in my face. St. Croix isn't Little House on the Prairie and we still do very much live in the 21st Century with plenty of online advertisements (I live with someone who really had to have the new Samsung Galaxy s7 and I get woken up to a literal "Mooooooo" sound every time a new text message is received) but we select when we're exposed to them and it's nice to have that kind of control.

After a year, I'm not really sure what the future holds but I know that there is a really happy future ahead. When I made this move I read a lot of blogs about attorneys who gave up very successful careers because they wanted a better quality of life. I needed the support of others like me to be able to know that taking this leap didn't make me completely crazy. It made me think back to that first year after law school when I quit my job and became a magazine editor. I went back to a law firm after the relationship I was in lead me into that direction again. The irony about my current move professionally and location-wise is that I would have stayed in the law profession for a relationship again but my life didn't have that plan for me and I'm so glad I didn't stay because I found exactly what I needed here. Every day is a new adventure here and I can't wait to get to know my new friends better and to make amazing memories because I took the road less traveled by and that has made all the difference.

And for all of you who have been asking for a picture of our dog, here she is. She's the sweetest and the first thing I see in the morning (literally, as she pushes her wet nose into my face to wake me up for a walk) and the giver of endless hugs and licks.