Jay's Journey Back

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Can Words Really Inspire? I Think So

September16

I’m often told that the words I write or have written in the past are uplifting and on occasion, inspiring. I never really thought twice about it until recently when I saw a quick Facebook quote that read – ‘Don’t follow your dreams – Chase them!”.

I began to think about all the millions of words I’ve read and written. And even those that have been said to me personally and  really tried to pinpoint any that may have changed my life or had a deep impact on the way I live it. I thought about including song lyrics but decided that that would have to include the countless tunes that have helped me through every occasion of happiness and loss. You know those 80′s rock ballads that you play over and over immediately following a break-up or that party anthem that the entire bar shouts out every time it comes on? We all have our favorites but there are far too many to list and because each song lyric really has its own time and place I decided to leave them out.

The Road Not Taken

Back in college I was introduced to poetry. Not that poetry existed, but more the aspect of its meaning or at least interpretive meaning. I had written probably a dozen or more poems of my own at that point but they were written specifically for me – never thinking that someday, another person would lay their eyes on my them and relate it to their life. It was near the end of the semester, in my Creative Writing class, when I was introduced to a poem that would change my life. The poem was “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. I had heard of him, I think most of my generation had -  because of the movie The Outsiders, Ponyboy Curtis and the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay”.

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.

Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken was different for me. At a time when I was second guessing who I was or what I was about, Frost’s words gave me clarity. Some might call it an epiphany. I knew then that everything didn’t always have to have a cut and dry, right or wrong choice. Anyone that knows me, now or before knows I have always walked to the beat of my own drum. The poem’s words hold true for me. I haven’t ever been a follower. It seems I have created my own path through life more times than taken one already cut out before me.

All my wrong turns have gotten me to the right place ….and that has made all the difference.

In the end everyone just wants to be happy but only you can choose the path that gets you there. So choose wisely.

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Love is a precious gift that everyone deserves

March14

If you’re like me, you have, at one point or another, been on the losing end of a relationship. Whether that be, friendship, marriage, long-term commitment, friends-with-benefits or any combination of them all. We immediately go through the course of emotions – panic, self-doubt, hurt, emptiness, sadness and rejection. You may even feel a little bit of anger, which comes from self-preservation.

Rejection may be one of the hardest things we have to experience. Because at the root of it all, it is someone telling you, “You’re not good enough.” That may not be the actual reasoning at all, but it’s what you hear and feel. What’s even worse is when that rejection comes without warning. It’s the things sleepless nights and unproductive days are made of.

I live my life with hope and passion. Last I checked no one has ever returned to say just what the other side holds in store for us. Has it caused scars? Yes! Some would say that’s because I wear my heart on my sleeve and as I grew older, I didn’t allow my own insecurities to stand in the way of letting someone know how I felt. I speak from the heart and have suffered a broken heart more than once. For a short period, after each one, I lost touch with who I was because of it.  I found myself second guessing who I was, my worthiness and just what my purpose was along this journey.

Opening yourself up to another person, takes more than just words. It takes courage and trust, especially if you do have scars to prove just how many times that same action has left you feeling helpless in the past. We tend to build walls up after each failed attempt. We swear off romance. Make excuses. Talk ourselves into believing we will be OK on our own. Saying things like – “I don’t need anyone” or “I guess it wasn’t meant to be”. When in reality those thoughts are the furthest from the truth. You are thinking, “I need (insert name) with me”, “What if?” or “Why?”

Love can be the most precious and most vulnerable thing you will ever experience. You are, in reality, asking someone to accept you just as you are. Filled with emotion, covered by imperfections and riddled with insecurities, carrying the baggage of your past. You open your heart and mind to that person, and when that door is slammed shut, you feel as if your world has crumbled. But on the opposite side of that, finding someone that loves you as deeply as you love them, there is no greater high.

We really have no control over anyone else’s choices. In my own current experience, I have no control over the circumstances surrounding the situation. Do I think I am the only one? No. I think the other person involved probably feels the same. Or at least I hope that’s the case. Nothing to say that the right paths crossing at the wrong time, can’t reroute themselves and cross once again.

Just like life, love is a fragile beast. Four little letters, one small word but when it’s right, it’s magic. Things have a funny way of righting themselves. If it’s written in the stars – the time, circumstances and situation will present itself.   Never doubt yourself or regret something that once made you smile.

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Writer Jay Long

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