The New Year brings new possibilities, hopes and resolutions, but making decisions to pursue these dreams come with hefty price tags - fear: fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of making wrong choices, fear of disappointing others and fear of making mistakes.

Fear is one BIG, four-letter word! It prevents millions of people making moves, changing jobs or living life to its fullest. It can be paralyzing and cause enough anxiety to deplete our sleep or appetites.

2005 has been awesome - one of the best years of my life. As I enter 2006, I am filled with fear, because I have starry eyes. I believe anything is possible. I guess, I still believe in Santa Claus, wishing pools and tooth fairies.

I believe we have a purpose in life, but finding that purpose is tough and once we do living that purpose is even more difficult. But, I believe we each have boundless potential and we make the decision whether or not to use that potential.

Every single day is like a new year. Every day is a day to change our lives, to change our minds, to change directions and to create the lives weve always dreamed of. Im scared to death of some of the decisions Im making right now, but where would I be if I kept both feet on the ground all the time? Ive got to let my head float into the clouds every once-in-a-while.

When I was 10, my mom made me memorize a poem by Robert Frost and it has influenced every decision, good and bad, that Ive made since then. Its called The Road Not Taken. Here it is in its entirety:

 

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

 

"Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

 

"And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

 

"I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference. "

Happy New Year.

Melisa Uchida is a journalist and freelance writer. Contact Melisa at melisauchida@mac.com.