Thursday, 13 May 2010

decisions, decisions...

I often feel like I'm standing at yet another of life's crossroads. Or roundabout. Or a confusing LA-esqe multi laned highway turnoff/merge/exit. Sometimes it's just me standing there, staring blankly, sometimes I'm there with a close friend, my family or my partner.

At these times I often think of the New Jersey turnpike in the film Being John Malkovich and marvel at the crazy portal of life and the strange places it spits you out at. That, and Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken, because a choice is necessary here, inevitable even, but you can never really know the outcome of your choice until you have lived it. Which can feel a little daunting at times.
Will the next choice I make lead to happiness?

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.

Frost is a cheeky bastard of a poet, don't you think? Is he sighing with happiness or regret? Was the difference good or bad? You could argue, knowing how way leads on to way, we can always make another choice, right? But that choice will then be informed and influenced by the former choices. Snowball effect. Rippling in a pond. Dominos are tumbling down. I'm starting to hyperventilate. And still just standing here, staring blankly.

This handy flow chart gets straight to the point though -

Image by You Might Like This via the delightful Checks and Spots

Some more food for thought via Checks and Spots comes in video form. It was an entry in a competition called u @ 50 and here I am stressing about tomorrow, next week, next month etc but this makes me ponder long term happiness. Ah perspective. Now I'm worrying about not only my future future but that of the entire world. Although, if there's no world then there's no me, so the two are kind of mutually exclusive.

It's a palindrome, so you'll need to watch the entire 1:45 to understand the full message. And that also means that if you don't have sound then you'll have to read each line, then read them backwards in order to see the true meaning!

And on a final note I shall leave you with this to consider. A most excellent piece of street art spotted tonight at the top of my parents street in Bondi, albeit fuzzily captured by my iphone. Apt, I think, considering all that's been going on in my head right lately.

I love it. I love that it's quoting the 1998 Spice Girls song Stop.

I'm going to stop, make my happiness decision with a human touch, and be on my merry way. And if life spits me out at the New Jersey turnpike again, well, I'll just have to dust myself off and crawl back down the crazy portal that is life, right?!


the textured leaf said...

Well as usual I dont know where to start. At the STOP sign? I believe they have put that there, whoever it was, especially for you in some transendiary universal type thing.
So you were up past midnight again.
Did you mention the sound thing for my benefit? I miss out on so much!
I adore the flow chart, hmmm got me thinking. Youre definitely on the road to fruition just dont stop unless you want a cuddle or need to spout poetry (understandable, legible, with sound or without, while waiting for signs), x

pilgrim said...

good luck with your cross roads :) more crossroads should be guided by the spice girls' wisdom.

we have a stop sign here that has 'hammertime' written on the bottom, and another that has 'collaborate and listen'. clearly someone is an early 90s rap fan.

Michaela said...

Hi Sara! A wise old lady used to say to me, "There are not right roads, or wrong roads. Only roads." This idea helped me to get un-frozen and just make a decision, and then handle the consequences, whatever they might be. Hope this helps a little. (By the way, she lived in Bondi too, this lady :-) xx Michaela


That stop sign seriously made my day - thanks so much for sharing it!
Glad you enjoyed two little doses of Checks and Spots goodness as well!!

Stomper Girl said...

Yes, I loved the STOP sign too. I'm not too proud to admit liking the Spice Girls.

Sally said...

I find decision making overwhelming too. I can offer you no useful advice other than curling up in bed with the doona over your head doesn't make the decison making go away ... I learnt that through experience!

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