60. ROBERT FROST: The road not taken
Zen Pencils regular Robert Frost is back with one of his most famous poems. It’s easy to misinterpret this poem as being about living an awesome life after making some hard or unconventional choices, but I don’t think it’s about that at all. I read it as being about how one’s life is the sum of their decisions, for better or worse, and wondering if those decisions were the right ones. Once you make an important decision, say to backpack around the world instead of going to college, you meet people, things happen to you, you fall in love, opportunities arise and your life kind of snowballs into decision after decision until you’re dead.
That choice to go to college instead of going travelling is similar to what I did. After college, one of my best friends went backpacking around Europe and worked in the UK for 2 years and begged me to go with him. But being ‘Mr. Responsible’, I decided to start working straight away and focus on my career. I’ve always kind of regretted not going with my friend BUT I’m also grateful I didn’t. Soon after my friend left I got a job in a newspaper as a graphic artist. This led to me befriending the comics editor, which led to me convincing the editor to publish one of my comic strips. That led to me drawing a new comic every week for FIVE YEARS. That constant practice was the training ground every artist needs to become a professional. Also if I went to Europe, I probably wouldn’t have moved to Melbourne and met the amazing group of friends I have here. So the decision to stay was the right one … I think.
Let me just qualify everything I’ve ever written on this site by saying I’m 29, I don’t really know anything about life and I’m just trying to figure this shit out … one comic at a time. I’m NOT trying to be a self-help guru – these quotes are for my own benefit as much as yours.
- I’m keen to know how you interpreted the poem. Let me know if you agree or disagree with my adaptation in the comments.
- This has been requested by a few people including Richard, Alex, Trevor and Amit. Sorry if I forgot anyone.
- Melbourne arts and culture website Milk Bar ran a short article and interview with me talking about the site.