“Two roads divereged in a wood and I–I took the one less traveled by.
And that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost
Being the arty type, some time ago, I elected to march to the beat of a different drummer, and I know that I am not the only person who has made the same decision. It is commonplace for artists to choose to live solitary lives. In doing so, we creatives tend to make choices that would not be esteemed as the popular ones.
Last night, I wrote about my having divorced many years ago Here. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my lack of success with dating after my divorce Here. For a few years after I divorced, I felt that the trend for divorced people was to re-mate and to re-marry, but something deep within myself warned me against following suit.
After looking around, I did not see many happily married couples, and I accepted the reality that, because of my art, I had become a bit of a loner. Even to this day, unlike many people, I rarely get lonely; and I am NEVER bored. There are many things that I want to write and paint, and I simply never fall out of something to do. Soon after I began dating agin, I elected to drop out of that scene and to commit myself to being Happily Unmarried.
Other than during the holidays, my decision to remain single works well for me. During the holidays, however, I begin to look around again, and I begin to reassess my decisions about remaining alone. Thank goodness, the holidays pass, and so far, my qualms about being alone pass, too.
Over the years, I have had the occasion to teach many artistic children, who invariably elect to march to their own drumbeats. Years ago, I coined my own quote, “If you decide to ALWAYS march to the beat of a different drummer, don’t be surprised if you miss the parade.” – Jacki Kellum
I am becoming long in tooth, now, and I still feel that being alone and being different is good me; yet, I admit that merely being stubbornly odd is not the winning hand. Even for us arty folks, we sometimes have to play the game.
A couple of days ago, a non-artsy friend sent me the following quote via Facebook Message:
I read the above, and all that it says of me is true. I re-posted the quote on Facebook, and people who know me well liked it–they knew that the words accurately describe me. Some commented to that effect. I wrote back that I am not sure that what those words say about me is complimentary. Yet, flattering or not, the words are who I am.
Bottom line: I am simply not like many people, and it is no surprise that because of my differences, I do normally march to the beat of a different drummer; but again, I recognize that there is often a need to get in step. Success lies in being able to know when to do what.
As I prepared to write this article, I created the Robert Frost quote poster that appears at the top, and I thought of another bit of advice, “If you ALWAYS follow the road less traveled, don’t be surprised if you get lost and don’t be surprised if you find yourself walking alone.” – Jacki Kellum
©Jacki Kellum January 5, 2015