Skip to content
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Washington Post)   What would your life be now if you had taken the path you didn't take, like that guy in the Walt Whitman poem? Or wait, was it Abraham Lincoln? One of them   (washingtonpost.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Alexis de Tocqueville, Civil society, Sociology, Age of Enlightenment, Democracy in America, The Association, association of people, professional societies  
•       •       •

1319 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Mar 2021 at 8:46 AM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



105 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Newest | Show all

 
2021-03-01 7:15:31 AM  
One of the things that the poem is trying to say is that there is no road "less traveled": whatever road you choose, nobody has trodden it before.

/On a related note, there is no dark side of the Force really. As a matter of fact it's all dark.
 
2021-03-01 7:34:16 AM  
Doesn't he specifically say that he's lying about the road not taken

/They were both the same
 
2021-03-01 7:38:16 AM  
If I listened to Lincoln I wouldn't be such a tight-ass.
 
2021-03-01 7:54:17 AM  
I would have married that beautiful girl from high school, who would still be smoking hot, but frigid as an arctic blast.

She would have made sure I put every spare cent into a money market account and I would have a solid financial future for my last 2 decades on earth, never having bought that repossessed motorcycle, and bombed around America and Mexico, making friends for the rest of my life, enjoying sunrises and sunsets with so many beautiful women.
We would live in a soulless house in a bland suburb, with no sidewalks, and I never would have seen my old homestead again, where I'm building miles of nature trail for visiting family to enjoy.

I would have finished college, and slaved away under passive-aggressive micromanagement in a corporate structure that would have crushed my spirit, and never learned to cook French classical, Greek, Italian, Mexican, and pastries from all over the world, and meeting people who traveled half way around the world to try my work based on some simple word of mouth over a shared meal.

I took that path 45 years ago.
And that girl? She is in that house, married to the shell of a man that could have been me.

Unanswered prayers and stuff, huh?
 
2021-03-01 8:40:38 AM  
I don't know and really don't care.  One of my Dads' favorite sayings is "big doors swing on little hinges".   I see that as not only its it the little things that aim your life in the trajectory it it's on, but it also means that it its mostly unpredictable.  There's a few things that I wish I'd done though:

1)  stuck with tae qwon do and gotten that black belt

2)  never sold my 65 mustang fastback GT

3)  never let that band director talk me out of the sax and into the t-bone

4)  gotten into the Grateful Dead a lot earlier


Other than that, im mostly ok with where I am overall
.....
 
2021-03-01 8:50:33 AM  
I might have ended up some bitter old man, making smart-ass comments on social media all day.

Waitwut?
 
2021-03-01 8:51:45 AM  
I took the path I didn't take. I think the map was upside down.
 
2021-03-01 8:53:01 AM  
I would most certainly be divorced and would have almost certainly reproduced.

/happily married and child-free
 
2021-03-01 8:53:14 AM  
"...We will not regret the past nor shut the door on it..."


Been through some shiat but my life is farking beautiful today and without those past experiences, I know I would not be surrounded by the same people I am today.
 
2021-03-01 8:53:16 AM  
I wouldn't dwell on it, borrowing from an aviation adage: there's nothing more useless to you than the air above you, the ground below you or all the decisions you left behind.
 
2021-03-01 8:53:20 AM  
it would seem i would have bombed around america and mexico on a motorcycle meeting wonderful people
 
2021-03-01 8:54:13 AM  
Hey now SpaceMonkey, ain't nothin wrong with the bone.  Just look at Trombone Shorty!
 
2021-03-01 8:54:39 AM  
I do frequently wonder if I would have done better if I had shed my parents' crazy religion immediately upon arriving at college instead of spending six years in a cult that tried to do it even harder.

I also wonder if I should have gone into theater instead of engineering.

I'm pretty happy with my life right now, but those changes would probably have resulted in me getting laid a lot more in my 20s.
 
2021-03-01 8:55:39 AM  
Probably decomposing somewhere in the backwoods after a long run from the law.
Thanks for keeping me sane, My Dear.
 
2021-03-01 8:55:45 AM  

CrazyUncle: Hey now SpaceMonkey, ain't nothin wrong with the bone.  Just look at Trombone Shorty!


Yea, but there's something about crooning out on that back porch that a sax lends itself better to......
 
2021-03-01 8:55:55 AM  

Gubbo: Doesn't he specifically say that he's lying about the road not taken

/They were both the same


Yes. When you meet Robert Frost in heaven, the first thing he says is "You idiots! It was a cul-de-sac!"
 
2021-03-01 8:56:41 AM  
Nah, I don't wonder at all.

The thing is, no matter which individual action I could have done differently, I'd still be me. Same guy, slightly different path.

First day at a new high school, what table I sit down at didn't matter. I'm socially awkward at every table. Job A or job B? Doesn't matter really, I'm still me.

Would Michael Jordan's life be different if he played football his whole life instead of basketball? Probably. But he is exceptional to a degree almost none of us here will ever be.

Sure sure, if I went to a different college I might have a different wife. And we would probably live in a different place. But it would all be the same.
 
2021-03-01 8:56:50 AM  
Like most recent high school grads I had the recruiting office calling my house night and day. No matter how many times I told them I wasn't interested they kept calling. So one day I said yes, I'll come down and hear what you have to say. So go on up to the office... and they were freaking closed! So instead of joining the Navy, I joined the circus. I think back on that time though and wonder what would have happened if the office was open. I'd probably would have gotten myself talked into signing up.
 
2021-03-01 8:57:49 AM  
I don't know, I wouldn't know, but to me it's a question that may never have an answer, so it's not worth chasing. May as well figure out the life I have now, which is already silly enough.

/if I can't test what could have been, it's not worth investigating
 
2021-03-01 8:58:15 AM  
I figure I'd either be dead from AIDS, homeless or in jail.
 
2021-03-01 8:59:12 AM  
"You" would be a different "now-you" if you had taken any other path. "You" would not be here to think about it.  The only path you can even ponder is the one in front of you.
 
2021-03-01 9:00:11 AM  
HugeMistake: /On a related note, there is no dark side of the Force really. As a matter of fact it's all dark.

I mean Sith, they'll try gonna kill ya.  So if you give 'em a quick, short, sharp slice - they won't do it again, dig it?  I mean they get off lightly, 'cause you could have given them a thrashing.  You only cut them once, it's only a difference of opinion - but really - I mean Jedi ethics don't cost nothin', do they eh?
 
2021-03-01 9:00:22 AM  
Wait! There's a path?
 
2021-03-01 9:02:38 AM  

Some Junkie Cosmonaut: HugeMistake: /On a related note, there is no dark side of the Force really. As a matter of fact it's all dark.

I mean Sith, they'll try gonna kill ya.  So if you give 'em a quick, short, sharp slice - they won't do it again, dig it?  I mean they get off lightly, 'cause you could have given them a thrashing.  You only cut them once, it's only a difference of opinion - but really - I mean Jedi ethics don't cost nothin', do they eh?


Annnnnd we revert edits randomly again when I hit post.  Yay!

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-03-01 9:02:47 AM  
Just remember...
NOW IS NOT NOW RIGHT NOW.
 
2021-03-01 9:06:13 AM  

jokerscrowbar: Wait! There's a path?


Seriously.

Seems like I've been running through brick walls for decades.

/ that which doesn't kill you...hurts like a b*tch once you hit 50, or something
 
2021-03-01 9:06:28 AM  
lowres.cartooncollections.comView Full Size
 
2021-03-01 9:06:47 AM  

vudukungfu: I would have married that beautiful girl from high school, who would still be smoking hot, but frigid as an arctic blast.

She would have made sure I put every spare cent into a money market account and I would have a solid financial future for my last 2 decades on earth, never having bought that repossessed motorcycle, and bombed around America and Mexico, making friends for the rest of my life, enjoying sunrises and sunsets with so many beautiful women.
We would live in a soulless house in a bland suburb, with no sidewalks, and I never would have seen my old homestead again, where I'm building miles of nature trail for visiting family to enjoy.

I would have finished college, and slaved away under passive-aggressive micromanagement in a corporate structure that would have crushed my spirit, and never learned to cook French classical, Greek, Italian, Mexican, and pastries from all over the world, and meeting people who traveled half way around the world to try my work based on some simple word of mouth over a shared meal.

I took that path 45 years ago.
And that girl? She is in that house, married to the shell of a man that could have been me.

Unanswered prayers and stuff, huh?


There's a success story if I've ever heard one.

Now, lets talk about that food you mentioned. You have people come halfway around the world for your food based on word of mouth. What are talking about here? I am very intrigued.

I mean, I have people that come from states away to taste my food based solely on descriptions of my food but not from the other side of the world. Ok, it's for special meals. Thanksgiving. And they're family but technically it's true.
 
2021-03-01 9:08:56 AM  
I don't know where I'd be, but I do have regrets. I think that's normal. I don't trust people who say they don't. If you have no regrets, you either didn't pay attention or you don't care enough.
 
2021-03-01 9:09:14 AM  

169th Cousin: Just remember...
NOW IS NOT NOW RIGHT NOW.


Col. Sandurz: NOW. You're looking at now, sir. Everything that happens now is happening now.
Dark Helmet: Go back to then!
Col. Sandurz: What?
Dark Helmet: THEN!
Col. Sandurz: I can't!
Dark Helmet: Why not?
Col. Sandurz: We passed it!
Dark Helmet: When?
Col. Sandurz: Just now!
Dark Helmet: When will then be now?
Col. Sandurz: SOON!
 
2021-03-01 9:10:04 AM  

vudukungfu: I would have married that beautiful girl from high school, who would still be smoking hot, but frigid as an arctic blast.

She would have made sure I put every spare cent into a money market account and I would have a solid financial future for my last 2 decades on earth, never having bought that repossessed motorcycle, and bombed around America and Mexico, making friends for the rest of my life, enjoying sunrises and sunsets with so many beautiful women.
We would live in a soulless house in a bland suburb, with no sidewalks, and I never would have seen my old homestead again, where I'm building miles of nature trail for visiting family to enjoy.

I would have finished college, and slaved away under passive-aggressive micromanagement in a corporate structure that would have crushed my spirit, and never learned to cook French classical, Greek, Italian, Mexican, and pastries from all over the world, and meeting people who traveled half way around the world to try my work based on some simple word of mouth over a shared meal.

I took that path 45 years ago.
And that girl? She is in that house, married to the shell of a man that could have been me.

Unanswered prayers and stuff, huh?


You seem really bitter about what you're trying to imply you're happy about.
 
2021-03-01 9:10:15 AM  

Richard_The_Clown: Like most recent high school grads I had the recruiting office calling my house night and day. No matter how many times I told them I wasn't interested they kept calling. So one day I said yes, I'll come down and hear what you have to say. So go on up to the office... and they were freaking closed! So instead of joining the Navy, I joined the circus. I think back on that time though and wonder what would have happened if the office was open. I'd probably would have gotten myself talked into signing up.


Best move I ever made was walking out of the Navy recruitment center 10 minutes before I was to sign the paper. Good on you.
 
2021-03-01 9:10:51 AM  
I remember the exact moment I took this fork in the road. I'd been flirting with this woman online (this was ~2004) and one day she invited herself over (we lived in different cities). Not knowing what to do all day, we walked around town and talked for hours. As we're sitting on the steps of a big, beautiful church, she asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I looked up, stared at that church, and said "architecture?" which was the first time I voiced that out loud. Instead of hearing something negative, which I'd expected, she said "you should go for it" and in that moment, I decided to go back to school. Today I'm a licensed architect, and in own my own busy practice.

As for the girl, well, she left the next morning to go back to her boyfriend (which she'd never mentioned) and I never saw her or spoke to her again, like an angel or something.

My entire life changed. I moved across the country, got my master's degree, bought a house, got a wife and dogs, and couldn't imagine my life any other way.

Wherever you are, Ashley, thank you.
 
2021-03-01 9:11:41 AM  
I should be dead or in jail based on my arc from 13 to 18 years old.

So, while I wish I'd made better choices as an adolescent, I still had a lot of fun and lived more in those five years than a lot of people live all their lives. And somehow recovered enough to stick the landing. The only difference would've been me going to way better universities than I did.
 
2021-03-01 9:13:17 AM  

Herr Morgenstern: I don't know where I'd be, but I do have regrets. I think that's normal. I don't trust people who say they don't. If you have no regrets, you either didn't pay attention or you don't care enough.


There are things I would have liked to have done different. Things that would be possible now that weren't possible as I was growing up. I am grateful for the life I have but grass is always greener yada yada.
 
2021-03-01 9:15:55 AM  
I would have never tried heroin.

/>2 years clean now
//Does anyone know where to get some heroin
 
2021-03-01 9:16:59 AM  

thurstonxhowell: vudukungfu: I would have married that beautiful girl from high school, who would still be smoking hot, but frigid as an arctic blast.

She would have made sure I put every spare cent into a money market account and I would have a solid financial future for my last 2 decades on earth, never having bought that repossessed motorcycle, and bombed around America and Mexico, making friends for the rest of my life, enjoying sunrises and sunsets with so many beautiful women.
We would live in a soulless house in a bland suburb, with no sidewalks, and I never would have seen my old homestead again, where I'm building miles of nature trail for visiting family to enjoy.

I would have finished college, and slaved away under passive-aggressive micromanagement in a corporate structure that would have crushed my spirit, and never learned to cook French classical, Greek, Italian, Mexican, and pastries from all over the world, and meeting people who traveled half way around the world to try my work based on some simple word of mouth over a shared meal.

I took that path 45 years ago.
And that girl? She is in that house, married to the shell of a man that could have been me.

Unanswered prayers and stuff, huh?

You seem really bitter about what you're trying to imply you're happy about.


I got a little of that same vibe. Sort of a bitterness to the girl.

Anyway, on  different note, I think it's only natural to have some regrets about the paths you didn't take.

Every moment in time is a fork in the path.
 
2021-03-01 9:17:03 AM  
I camped out at the fork and have lived there in perpetual indecision ever since.
 
2021-03-01 9:17:30 AM  

H31N0US: I should be dead or in jail based on my arc from 13 to 18 years old.

So, while I wish I'd made better choices as an adolescent, I still had a lot of fun and lived more in those five years than a lot of people live all their lives. And somehow recovered enough to stick the landing. The only difference would've been me going to way better universities than I did.


And yes, there was a very beautiful girl involved in that recovery...the kind of girl who was way out of my league but liked me anyway, and inspired me to stop being a Moran. Eventually it fizzled out because she started a career when I was still catching up academically. Still, were very good years for me and I'll always remember them, and her, fondly. We connected on FB about a decade ago and she's doing great. Which was good to hear.
 
2021-03-01 9:18:31 AM  
Once you know what Frost was really saying in that poem it becomes something different. He was making fun of an acquaintance that he thought would be foolish enough to tell such a story about choosing a path in the forest making a difference. It doesn't matter which path you take. What matters is that you walk it.

Nice poem and all, but if you really want meaningful Frost you need to look at Mending Wall.
 
2021-03-01 9:20:04 AM  
Well, after my father passed I had a bit of an awakening.  I've decided to "finish strong."  Since that time, I've been working on becoming the person I want to be.  I've taken care of some long overdue dental work, I've gotten my finances in excellent shape, and I've finally started really losing weight.   I'm in a good relationship, albeit long distance (Covid 19 certainly doesn't help on that front) and I'm taking the time to enjoy my hobbies and develop my skills more.  If all goes as planned, I'll be able to retire early enough to really enjoy it.

are there paths I could have taken?  Sure.  Should have taken?  Abso-farkin-lutely.  But the past is carved in stone, and the future is a blank sheet of paper.  I can't play the "what if" game.  Therein lies madness.  Or at least a bottomless pit of regret and bitterness.
 
2021-03-01 9:20:08 AM  
I would've concentrated on my already pretty good secondary language skills, gotten myself into a nice civil service position and maybe been in Reserves on weekends just to get some range time in. And retired early with something approaching an actual pension.
 
2021-03-01 9:20:34 AM  
I'd probably be the same person doing different shiat.
 
2021-03-01 9:22:16 AM  
Maybe it's because I'm going through a mid-life crisis at the moment, but I think about the life decisions I've made almost every minute of the day.  That one girl.  That one job.  That one test.  That one cancer cell.

How would my life be different today if I'd zigged instead of zagged?  Would I trade all of those horrible experiences filled with heart break, depression, and hospital beds for a life of peace and comfort? And then I remember a saying that has always kept me going, even through suicidal thoughts, destitution, and radiation treatments:

You can't appreciate the view from the top of the mountain unless you've lived down in the valley below.
 
2021-03-01 9:29:40 AM  

Great_Milenko: Well, after my father passed I had a bit of an awakening.  I've decided to "finish strong."  Since that time, I've been working on becoming the person I want to be.  I've taken care of some long overdue dental work, I've gotten my finances in excellent shape, and I've finally started really losing weight.   I'm in a good relationship, albeit long distance (Covid 19 certainly doesn't help on that front) and I'm taking the time to enjoy my hobbies and develop my skills more.  If all goes as planned, I'll be able to retire early enough to really enjoy it.

are there paths I could have taken?  Sure.  Should have taken?  Abso-farkin-lutely.  But the past is carved in stone, and the future is a blank sheet of paper.  I can't play the "what if" game.  Therein lies madness.  Or at least a bottomless pit of regret and bitterness.


"It's ok to look back at the past, just don't stare."
 
2021-03-01 9:31:55 AM  

Herr Morgenstern: I don't know where I'd be, but I do have regrets. I think that's normal. I don't trust people who say they don't. If you have no regrets, you either didn't pay attention or you don't care enough.


I at times don't have any regrets. Not because I don't care. But, because I've played out the scenarios. And, either not much changes or it's so radically different it makes everything irrelevant.  If I had done better in school I'd met different people. And those different people would have changed where I was in life when I broke up with those people/they broke up me. which means the next person is different.
If I still get with the same people, I don't see me being different actually changing their choices.
So lastly I play out the scenario where I can choose the same people but have them act differently.
But then if I can make them act completely different why do I even have to pick them to begin with?
If you can choose to be with any woman you want and have her act anyway you want
..

... The whole exercise becomes moot.
Reality is actually contrite and forced.
You either act melodramatically or you're one bored stupid fark.
My life wasn't perfect but it was interesting and never boring.
For all the melodrama and drama I don't find myself longing for boredom.
So it's hard to regret all this disasters I set in place.
Because I've seen boring people's lives that crap is stupid boring.
 
2021-03-01 9:33:14 AM  
Well. I wouldn't have ended up with this carton of eggs that have blessed me not once, but twice with twins. 3 egg breakfast is the norm for me, not 4.

Fark user imageView Full Size

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-03-01 9:34:03 AM  
When I was 29, I married a guy I had been officially dating for only 6 months or so.  We'd been quasi-romatic friends before that, so there was just enough time for things to get serious before the FAA assigned him to Iowa and shipped him out to Oklahoma City for training.  We were living in Florida, where we both grew up.

I had been desperately, actively suicidal around that time; it was (relatively) easy to bail on my old life.  I was going to do that one way or the other, I guess.  This way I got curly dogs, a good marriage, and the hell out of Florida instead of permanent peace and (probably) cremation.  That's an OK tradeoff, especially once we got out of Iowa.  Mental health is still crap though.
 
2021-03-01 9:34:36 AM  

Petey4335: Well. I wouldn't have ended up with this carton of eggs that have blessed me not once, but twice with twins. 3 egg breakfast is the norm for me, not 4.

[Fark user image image 425x566]
[Fark user image image 425x566]


Why didn't that company selling only doubles not catch on?
 
2021-03-01 9:36:06 AM  

Martian_Astronomer: I do frequently wonder if I would have done better if I had shed my parents' crazy religion immediately upon arriving at college instead of spending six years in a cult that tried to do it even harder.

I also wonder if I should have gone into theater instead of engineering.

I'm pretty happy with my life right now, but those changes would probably have resulted in me getting laid a lot more in my 20s.


This sounds like the story of so many people I went to college with.

/  that's right
/  I wrote that sentence that way on purpose.
/  i do what i want
 
Displayed 50 of 105 comments


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Newest | Show all


View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking





On Twitter



  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.