The Road Not Taken
I click open my email inbox, and am greeted with a picturesque photo of an autumn trail and a Robert Frost poem entitled The Road Not Taken.
On the subject line, it heartwarmingly reads “To my daughter, from dad.”
Dad and I are usually apart most of the time. Dad’s work keeps him overseas, and we usually get no more than two or three months of time together in a year. But these days, I miss him even more than usual.
We usually correspond by email, but whenever I need someone to lean on, I look for dad rather than mom, even though my mom is always here in person. Dad might not be right there next to me, but an email from dad filled with sweet and encouraging messages is enough to make all my problems bearable.
During my high school freshman year, when I shocked friends and family by announcing that I wanted to drop out of school, nobody had anything positive to say. Dad, on the other hand, just stood by and supported me in silence.
After saying goodbye to my schoolmates for one last time, I packed up my things and returned home. I suddenly felt both lonely and frustrated. That is when dad said his words of wisdom:
“It’s been two years since you were diagnosed with atopic hypersensitivity, and I think you’ve done a good job living with the condition. I just want you to know that it’s not possible to walk the same path as everybody else in the world. If you can get to where you want to go unscathed, you would have led a good and meaningful life, even if it takes you longer than others to get there.”
Even when I decided not to enroll in a Korean university and instead to apply for a university in the States, his response was “It’s your life. I only ask that you give it your best.” He neither said he approved nor disapproved of my plans.
I became incredibly sensitive while preparing for my university application. I had always thought that I had clear goals and tried my best to achieve them. Reflecting back on my life...