Every time I think of a fork in the road, I think of the Robert Frost poem “The Road not Taken”. We did an analysis of this poem in English class in university, and it has stuck with me ever since. At the time, I thought Frost did just an amazing job of romanticizing taking the road less traveled. Maybe unfortunately so, I am now at a part in my life that I have much different feelings about the poem.
As I have mentioned here before, I am an American immigrant living in Europe. This means that all at once and spread over the last few years, I have left behind my life in America and started to build a new one here in Germany. A younger version of myself would have thought this be an amazing and easy thing to do. Older me will probably revere how well I handled it. The truth is that it has been the hardest challenge that I have ever had to endure.
In Frost’s poem, he describes possibly going back later and taking the path he did not choose. This has made the poem somehow melancholic to me now knowing that no matter what I want, I cannot go back to the path I did not choose in my life. Even if I were to change my mind right here on this path and make my way back to the other, everything will have changed so much that the path I left behind is not even a part of the fork in the road anymore.
I have explained to my sister in different ways how hard it is because I want to be back there, but I also want to be here. I believe I have said before “It isn’t choosing between apples and oranges; it’s choosing between eating and sleeping.” I need my family there, but I also need my life here. Every time I leave the US and travel to Europe, I feel all the good and bad emotions at once. I mourn, I celebrate, I am calm, and I am anxious. I feel as I would imagine a split personality patient would feel; each of my lives deserves a chance in the light.
In some ways, my situation is nothing like Frost’s poem at all. Everyday I talk to my family in America, I am stopped on my path and looking over at the path I did not take. Every time I pack up and head back to the US for any amount of time, I am leaving my path and running through brush and overgrowth to the other path. I never lose sight of the other path at any time. It makes me question if I ever was at a fork in the road at all. Maybe I do Frost disservice by comparing my life to his poem, and I am on a path that is incomparable. My path is more like an interdimensional, intertwining streak through the cosmos with no clear rhyme or reason.