Will Carpenter

Cookeville, TN, United States

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Will Carpenter
Posted almost 2 years ago
What is the value in taking the road less traveled by?
Forty-four years ago, my parents had great dreams for me and had my life all plotted out, with a military academy education, and a lucrative job following retirement from the military. I chose to take a summer job related to that path, but not as "gentlemanly." It became the summer job I forgot to quit until I retired from it 42 years later, knowing that I wouldn't trade any one of my experiences for five minutes of that carefully planned, very safe job. There's an old cliche about lives that read better than they live. Often, the road less taken is like that, filled with long stretches of boredom and a few moments of abject terror or dizzying triumph. You may love it or hate it while you're in it, but you won't appreciate it until it's a memory to be recounted -- a senior citizen's story told and retold to relatives and caregivers until those relatives and caregivers can repeat it under their breath, verbatim, as they roll their eyes at each retelling. Is there a value the road less traveled? That depends. Is there something so compelling there that you're willing to risk everything to follow that road? If not, avoid it -- for now -- but revisit the intersection often, in case you change your mind.