By Alyssa Velazquez
Elm Staff Writer
In life there are numerous decisions that cause splits in our day-to-day judgments: right or left, up or down, yes or no, stop or go, and even in or out. In his famous poem the “Road Not Taken,” Robert Frost wrote: “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and sorry I could not travel both.”
Written in the 20th century, the eloquence of the poem is still a studied in present day English classes. Although today I do not spy many yellow woods due to continual boosts in urbanization, population and deforestation, my eyes never fail to behold areas in which we are forced to make split decisions. One of these overgrown forests includes relationships, equipped with two roads that twist and wind down the paths of reason and feeling.
More commonly referred to a battle between the head and the heart, we are ultimately and deliberately working towards a Frost-like conclusion. Which road in relationships should we follow: our head or heart?
You would think, that this constant battle in relationships was between the head and the heart that they were of two different origins residing in different spheres, neither of which inhabit a singular body nor are completely controllable, but rather work independently as interchangeable parts for selective tasks: a brain to fix a car and a heart to give a hug. For the most part we assign particular vocations to each body part limiting the heart to sentiment and the brain to reason.
Yet when it comes to relationships, the primary functions of both the brain and the heart suddenly become hazy. Both have a stake in the matter and have separate opinions, introducing the question of which one to go with.
I admit that personally I am a very reserved person, relying primarily on my brain before my heart has the opportunity to go into autopilot. It’s hard for me to say that in the past I have always made the right decisions. I believe, looking back, now that I have, though it wasn’t always like this.
Very recently I have been struggling with my head and my heart: both separately and their relationship with my personal relationships.
Stop me if you have heard this one before: girl meets guy, guy likes girl, then comes a catastrophic event in which they are driven apart, now both are alone and the girl is left questioning what to do with their recently terminated relationship.
Whether it is merely a common tale or cinema worthy, my story is a story nonetheless, and one that has been particularly trying on both my head and heart. Logically the distance and circumstances surrounding the situation are unfavorable to any relationship no matter how concrete it may be. Even so, emotionally I still feel an attachment and my unwillingness mixed with an unrelenting stubborn streak cries out for me to not throw in the towel just yet.
So what’s a girl to do?
The other day after going some time without any communication, accepting that our relationship was not conducive to cross-continental relations, and setting my path of reasoning to “head” mode, I was messaged on Facebook: “I miss you and want to talk with you soon.”
There I was, once again in the woods staring down two roads. Would one be easier than the other? I began to look around for a trail of breadcrumbs from past travelers as a guide to lead me down the right path.
It was then that I noticed the paths were not as linear as they first appeared to be. One mode of reason was not confined to a singular highway; they in fact, melded to create both heartfelt and brain-leveled tunnels, bridges, and bypasses along the road.
As a relationship twists and turns so does our logic and emotions, so do our decisions at singular bends in the relationship. Whatever the “right” path of a relationship it is my belief that it is not so much a healthy balance of reason and heart but a conscious awareness of the continual presence and possibility of each in the building of a relationship.
That is truly the road in the wood that is less traveled and that in my relationship “has made all the difference.”
March 25, 2011
Volume LXXXI Issue 19