Steps in right direction


A picture of my siblings and I that I drew in elementary school, which highlights my individuality and demonstrates my enthusiasm to be a unique individual.

Jesse Sparks, Voice Editor

Below are quoted segments from Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” and accounts of my own struggles under the burdens of my father’s expectations on my route towards self-exploration. This poem closely mirrors my own feelings of indecision and worry over my future as I forge my own path, independent of my father’s.

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood”

Since I was little, my father has praised his alma mater for its “academic and extracurricular excellence” and has groomed my brother, sister and I to follow in his footsteps and become the next University of Michigan fightin’ wolverine in the family. However, after my brother and sister strayed from this well beaten and lineal path, I was left to struggle under the burdens of expectations and disappointment.

“And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth”

When I was that wide-eyed little boy, who dreamt of things outside of the world of finance and business, my father, with his incessant persuasion, swayed me, ever so slightly, to postpone my dreams of those alien things. The more I grew, the more my thoughts bent to the precedents set for me. I could not stop wondering and pondering the possibilities of a future in the business world, although my thoughts always drifted back to those things outside of my father’s world of business.

Then took the other, just as fair,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear”

I remember the way that his stories of his college days would entrance me, as if they were ones of valiant knights and fair maidens, but these stories were real and almost tangible. To a little boy who felt obligated to follow in the glorified footsteps of a seemingly valiant knight, these stories were more than enough to secure my will to become a knight, just like my father had. However, I was naïve and those stories were fictional and only told by kind mothers to their dreary eyed sons.

“Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.”

Years passed and my perceptions of my once fairy tale world changed, yet part of me was still mystified by my father’s anecdotes. I began to question his stories and began developing my own interests, beginning to stray from that beaten path. I developed a passion for music and writing instead of the business and economic interests that were passively predetermined. I began to travel on the less beaten path, one that lead to a future filled with late night.

“I shall be tell you this with a sigh”

Once I was old enough, we visited the highly acclaimed setting of my father’s golden days, but it was not what my father had described. The castles in my father’s stories were nothing more than bricks and mortar, designed by a man who had done nothing in particular besides building libraries.

“Somewhere ages and ages hence:”

I lost the remnants of that child-like belief in my father’s stories that day, but the death of that old faith, bore a passion for a new one.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I”
“I took the one less traveled by,”

I no longer wanted to be the business major that he decided that I would be, I no longer wanted to travel that path beaten with tradition and the fear of self-exploration. I could not live like my father and my father’s father had. I could not live my life hiding from all of the things that I could be behind an oaken desk and mountains of paperwork.

“And that has made all the difference.”

I wanted to travel the road not taken, whether it be through choosing my own career, college or dreams. I wanted to be able to listen to my father’s advice and have it be only that, advice. Although I am still walking that unbeaten path towards journalism, I am sure it will make all the difference.