Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, so I climbed a tree instead.

When I was a kid it bugged me when Mom or Dad or Other Responsible Adult would drive the same route over and over and over again. I became downright giddy when we took the highway instead of back roads, or back roads instead of the highway, or a completely new way I’d never seen before. To my mind, there were no fewer than 25 ways to get to the grocery store and I wanted to see them all.*

So imagine my surprise when I realized this morning – literally, 3 minutes ago – that I’d been approaching a particular long-standing goal of mine in a very linear, uncompromising, it can only be done this one way, damnit! fashion. Without being too specific, I’ve just been assuming that I’d have to go back to school in order to get any kind of measurable shit done with my life.

This has been my attack plan for years. YEARS! And instead of taking the literally 10 seconds to consider the alternatives, I wasted my energy on figuring out how the hell I was going to basically rearrange my life around more fucking education, dreading the entire thing, and resigning myself to selling a kidney on Craigslist to finance it all. Ugh. Talk about a downer, bro. No wonder I’d made zero progress.

I very briefly considered if there was a mental roadblock at play here: Oooh! For complicated Reasons, you’ve subconsciously set yourself up to fail! Oooh! The plot thickens, and — nope. Fuck that. I just let my brain become – what’s the opposite of distracted?

Hey! There’s a first time for everything.



*This is not an exaggeration. This girl used to take the Wunnenberg Street Guide to Saint Louis County into her room and lay on her bed studying it for hours. I wish I could say I was kidding.

map porn. Talk cartography to me, baby.

map porn. Talk cartography to me, baby.

3 thoughts on “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, so I climbed a tree instead.

  1. Katie says:

    OMG THE WUNNENBERG MAPS. I would seriously still be driving in circles around Soulard from that one time I went to a bar there back in 2006 without The Wunnenberg. Not to mention high school! — my goodness! — high school! Back in the days before smart phones, before Google Maps, before MapQuest, there was the unfailing reliability of The Wunnenberg. When I moved to Kansas City and found out they were purely a St. Louis thing, I remember thinking, “But how do people live their lives here?!? How is anyone able to function??” I bought a Rand McNally, and found it to be almost worthless by comparison. Never was so much accomplished so well with so limited a color scheme. *love*

  2. theotherjulie says:

    I love everything about this comment.
    I’m surprised these don’t come up more often when people mention things unique to this town… Or maybe not everyone is as enamored with them as us? Perish the thought.

  3. Katie says:

    Everything? Did you also love how I ignored the entire point of your eloquent post about you finding your way in life and instead zeroed in on an unrelated detail you threw in at the end? I’m not wholly insensitive, I promise! I’m very excited for you and your achievement of long-term life goals! Kudos!

    But seriously, I about had a panic attack that day (read: many days) in Kansas City. The Rand McNally was awful. So many colors! What’s that supposed to be; is that a street? A county line? A river? What do you mean, it’s a park?? Where’s the damn key for this ridiculous color coding? Wait, there’s at least three different greens!! Is that green, lime, or chartreuse? THERE’S NO REASON FOR ALL THESE FRIGGIN’ COLORS, YOU NEED BLACK ORANGE AND RED, THAT’S ALL YOU NEED AND I HAVE PROOF BACK IN ST. LOUIS. I was trying to go east!! Why did I just pass a sign that says “Welcome to Kansas”?!? DAMN YOU, RAND MCNALLY!!

    They should hand out one of those things to everyone when they turn 16. It should be mandatory, like 18 year-old guys signing up for Selective Service. Oh, it’s your 16th birthday, here’s your Wunnenberg. You’re welcome. Love, The Rest of the World.

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