The Fork in the Road


“When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” Yogi Berra, a thirteen time Major League Baseball World Series champion once gave this advice to a stranded friend seeking further direction to Yogi’s home. When the caller responded with, “huh?”  Yogi repeated with a clear vision, “When you come to the fork in the road take it.”

Since Yogi spit those words of wisdom they have also been interpreted as coming to a crossroads in ones own future, a deciding moment in life when a major choice includes options. When faced with a choice, afraid of what is seen and unseen do you make the choice and venture down the road, confidant enough to face uncertainty?

Recently, two good friends of mine, the two Susans I call them, undecided on their respective futures, came to their personal fork in the road. Having lived responsible, accountable and accomplished adult lives they both knew it was time for a life change. They stood at their proverbial fork in the road.

Susan G. knew it was time when the business she had loved all her adult life no longer brought her that joy. She had risen from a receptionist in the business to one of two owners. She was in charge, made money and her colleagues were friends. But, the thrill was gone!  Going through the daily motions her mind drifted. In her mid 50s, she wanted more, a new direction She took the fork.

After a trip to Key West and visits to friends across Florida, she’s still deciding what’s around the next bend. But the sun has never shined brighter. The days last longer. Her smile is bigger. The joy in her voice has returned. She’s happy.

Susan P. (yes, they’re both Susans) surprised me with her announcement. I heard of it from a client friend. The friend also relayed that Susan’s boss and colleagues who depended on her expertise were talking to her to see if she could be convinced to stay. They felt she would. A month went by before I ran into her. We talked. She opened up about the upcoming season of her life and how she was looking forward to what was next. I knew she was a goner, one foot out of the proverbial door.

She’d discovered the strength to do what had been floating around inside her for some time. She was heading back to her hometown to be close to relatives. She would seek part time work that she could control with companies she was already familiar with. They had already approached her. She would be a big fish in their tiny fish bowl. But, she would not be in charge of the entire operation as she had been. She could work like she pleased. She could spend time with her Mom. She met with the companies. She set the terms. They agreed to the letter “I can’t believe it,” she jubilantly expressed. She is happy.

Both women pondering a life move reached their fork in the road and made their choice without having all the answers.

They both individually asked me for my advice. “What do you think,” they wanted to know? Without hesitancy, I quoted Yogi, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” I remember the laughter. They both laughed big, hearty, throaty laughs. They’re laughing even louder now.

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