The Road Less Traveled

Maria - Pacific Palisades, California
Entered on July 7, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
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I believe in the road less traveled … in marching to the beat of your own drum. I am inspired by those who have followed that drumbeat…People such as Katherine Hepburn, who refused to have her wardrobe – or her personal life – dictated to her; Madonna, who unabashedly invented and re-invented and re-invented the Madonna product under the apt banner Maverick Entertainment; and writer J.M. Barrie, who ordered Brussels sprouts every day just because he liked saying the words.

A less famous inspiration has been my friend Becky. A Denver-born girl from the country club set, she enrolled in a private, conservative university where she quickly joined a sorority – and then quickly dropped out. Hearing her own drum, she followed a path unimagined by many, eventually living for a time on an ashram in India as a single mother of three.

Then there is the story of Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, who, along with his wife, raised nine children in an RV while traveling the world in search of the perfect wave. One of the highlights of my career as a TV producer was getting to interview the entire Paskowitz clan. “Oh,” I thought, “the things they have seen, the adventures they have had.”

In life there are always choices, the two roads which diverge in a wood. I love the idea of choosing the one begging for wear, begging to be explored. How exciting to walk through the unknown, the unexplored, into the land of new thoughts, ideas, creative inspiration, and scientific advancement.

Still, I know the choices I have made in my own life haven’t always made sense to others. My job as a freelance TV producer could hardly be described as “secure.” My personal life hasn’t turned out to be any more stalwart – no husband, no kids, no pets…just a few plants that manage to hang in there. Still, I like to think that I dive into life with both feet and I never – well, almost never – find myself asking, “What if?”

It takes bravery not to follow the crowd, to march to a beat no one else can hear. But the payoff is a richer and more fulfilling life…Dare I say, happiness?

The road less traveled can make all the difference. This I believe.