Monday, 31 December 2012

What's in a name?

Choosing a name for my blog was a bit of a challenge.  Not only does it need to represent the content of the page (which in my case is a rather eclectic group of topics) but it also needs to be memorable and, of course, not already in use.  So where did mine come from?  It's a play on Robert Frost's poem.

The Road Not Taken

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 marked 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. 
I won't go into an analysis of Frost's famous work.  Despite the contradictions in his work "Had worn them really both the same" and "I took the one less traveled by" this poem evokes quite the image.  Which road should he take?  As far as he can see they look the same, but it is certain that along the way the roads will become quite different.  The poem has survived time because of the strength of this image.  
I'm not standing at a cross roads.  As the title hints, I did not completely chose the path that I am on.  Four years ago I knew exactly where I was going.  I was a member of the army and training to be a nurse.  I could see my future clear as day.  I would finish my degree, specialize in emerge/ICU, deploy overseas, and then eventually get my medical degree.  Then every thing changed, and I didn't even know it at first.  
I injured myself training with the Army and never recovered.  As of the beginning of November 2012, I was medically released from the military.  I have chronic knee pain from my accident and cannot stand for long periods of time.  This severely limits my job opportunities as a nurse.  
That said I got lucky.  Right after school ended and I was released from the military, I was offered, and accepted, a job in research, a field I had never considered working in.  I'm enjoying research so much that I am in the process of applying to do a Masters: hopefully after that I can do a Ph.D.  I just bought my first home, moved to a new city and started some new hobbies (now that I have time to do something other than study).  In the past 3 months I have started what feels like an entirely new life.  There are some days I can barely believe that the life that I am living is my life.  
Don't get me wrong.  I love my life: I am excited about the future and enjoying today.  I just can't get over that fact that where I am now is the result of a series of accidents.  
So here I am.  On a road that I didn't chose heading for a future that I can't imagine.  You are welcome to join me for the ride.  

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