I fell into an old addiction this weekend. I spent thirteen hours in front of the TV in two days. I blame it all on Jenji Kohan, who has contributed to this gluttonous behavior in the past. Orange is the New Black is a wildly addicting and brilliant show, and each episode left me all like, “What the what?! AHHHH!”. I had no choice but to press next. I needed it. You and your crack TV, Jenji.
I had a few minutes of guilt as I looked at the clock and realized how long it had been, but then remembered some great advice I read somewhere. No matter where you are or what you’re doing BE there. If you should be doing something else and can’t stop thinking about it, then you aren’t in the moment and just wasting your time. If you are choosing to laze about, then enjoy yourself, BE there. So I cozied on in with a fuzzy blanket and some tasty snackies to relish in my inactivity.
Anyways, I’ve alluded to my recent jail time. I felt kindred with the main character (at first); a blond, white, educated woman who slipped up and found herself in an unflattering shade of orange. I don’t really feel like going into my story yet, but I do want to talk about a couple of quotes from this genius show.
The main character was always correcting people (unwise), and one of her corrections was when an inmate was telling another character to take the road less traveled. She interrupts and points out that that isn’t what Robert Frost meant at all, that no one seems to understand what that poem is about.
He took the road frequently traveled, but told people he took the road less traveled. His point is that it doesn’t matter which road you take-you’re going to end up in the exact same place.
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.
She is exactly right! It’s an intriguing thought. The paths may look different, but are essentially just little roads that take you to the same place-where you’ll end up. It leads me to the next quote from that show that I loved, “Adventure is just hardship with an inflated sense of self”. BOOM.
If I had I made “safer” choices would I have wound up laid off and heartbroken anyways? Maybe I’d just be pushed into the proverbial “road less traveled” even if I had picked the green path instead of the one covered in undergrowth.
What if I had been a business major in college instead of a fine art major? What if I went into accounting instead of marketing? What if I stayed in Las Vegas at my first corporate job, where some of my friends still work? Would I have decided that none of those things suited me, and started over in Portland anyways?
If I had stayed with the engineer, or the NASA physicist, or any of the secure men I dumped for dudes that couldn’t maintain checking accounts; maybe I’d still be single and crashing at this friend’s house in this new city. Maybe those guys would have taught me the exact same things as the poker player with the dreamy eyes or the passionate musician.
There are lots of theories about why we are here, earth, living this human life. I like the one that says we are here to learn from it, so we can raise our vibration to the next stage of evolution. We are here because it’s school for the next stage, and there are concepts that we haven’t grasped fully yet. When we get ’em all we get to graduate to the next universal plane, or dimension, or heaven, or nirvana, or leave the wheel of samsara, or join the magical unicorn sparkle rainbow-whatever floats your boat.
Purveyors of this school of thought often say that we chose this life. Chose our parents. Where we were born. Certain events that will happen, lots of ’em (or the same one over and over, if we’re being dense). We choose these people, places, and events because they will offer us the chance to learn what we came here to learn. Maybe we don’t get to choose our path, because we already did.