When I was a kid, I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books.
I remember going to the school library with my class and rushing to the bookshelf in the front corner of the room to see if there were any new books in the series. I would be disappointed when I would find that they had all been checked out. There was just something about being able to play a part in the characters’ journeys. Even more than that, I liked being able to go back and see where the alternate option would take me.
I recently reread Robert Frost’s ubiquitous poem The Road Not Taken. I reflected on it for a while–where the narrator discerns which way he should go, where he expresses some regret of not selecting one path over the other, and where he reaches some level of resolution on selecting a road less traveled.
The poem isn’t really so different from those books of my childhood, and it’s not really different from the situations of my adulthood. I’ve always been happiest when I’ve had the freedom to make my own decisions, but I also have to wonder–when you’ve chosen one path, is it possible to turn around and choose another adventure?