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finding the road less traveled

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference." -Robert Frost 
As I'm slowly making my way out of highschool, the subject of my future has been brought up more and more. People have started asking me seriously about what I plan to do once I graduate.

Awhile ago I was talking to a friend, and the inevitable question came up. "So, what's your plan after school?"

I have always thought that everyone on the planet has a certain purpose.
Not one person is the same, and I believe that God gives everyone different gifts and talents to aid them in fulfilling their own unique purpose.

That's why I have never liked answering the questions pressed on my by my friends and relatives, even though they mean well. I don't know what my purpose is. 

I was about to answer with my usual "I don't know yet," but it didn't come. Instead, this time, I heard myself say: "French. I want to study French."

I didn't know why I said it, it just sort of came spilling out of me... and for some reason, deep down, I knew it was right.

I have been in love with languages for a long time, and decided to learn French for school. My family came to Canada from France hundreds of years ago before making it down to the States, so learning French was more of a fun way for me to learn about my ancestry. Never had I considered it as a possible career or future to pursue.

I thought about it long and hard, and as I've dug further the dots started to connect, and the fog began to clear away.

I am on this path, like the one in the well known poem by Robert Frost, getting closer and closer to where the road will fork into millions of possible futures.
I'm very confused about a lot of things and I'm still trying to make many decisions as I'm preparing for this next stage in life. I know it probably won't be as smooth a path as I hope, but I can feel God's hand directing me, and I have no doubt this is where I'm suppose to go.

That's the best part: I have not one doubt.

The Romanov Sisters + why I adore history





When I was younger, I loved the movie Anastastia. It had such a different, darker story than any other cartoon I'd ever seen. I was fascinated by Anastasia and Dimitri's journey, Rasputin, the villain, was actually quite terrifying unlike other villains I had encountered, and the music was just as good as any Disney soundtrack.

But a couple years ago I randomly discovered that the movie was actually based on a true story!
I felt both completely ignorant that I had never heard of it before, and beyond excited to look further into the story. And, not to mention kind of terrified that Rasputin actually existed. 
I spent a good week reading any article I could find on the Romanovs. I immersed myself in the entire terrible, heartbreaking story of the last Tsar and his family.


I have been perfectly obsessed with the Romanovs and Russian history for quite a long time now. So, of course, when I saw The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport come up in my Goodreads feed, I knew I had to snatch it up immediately!
This book did not disappoint one bit, and is, in fact, the most interesting, beautiful nonfiction book I have ever read. It is thick and gorgeous and stuffed with black and white pictures and an incredible story inside. 

Reading this book made the family seem more real to me.
It's hard sometimes, when you are so familiar with a historical event. It make it almost turn into a sort of fairy tale or legend in my mind. It's difficult to imagine that it really happened.
This book was able to take these facts that I've known so well and display them in a realistic way. Instead of the regal royal family the Romanovs were known as when they were alive, or the tragic historical figures they illustrated as today, Helen Rappaport portrayed them how they really were.

In the movie granted, the movie is not the most historically accurate thing ever, and in many articles I've read over the years, the focus is mainly on Anastasia. I understand why, but know one ever gets to hear about the other siblings Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Alexei, or their parents, Nicholas and Alexandra.

In The Romanov Sisters, the focus is one the entire family, which was something I really appreciate while I was reading.
I got to see the distinct differences in each sister's personality. I felt like I could relate to them more, but it also made the ending that much harder.

One thing I found surprising while I was reading was the fact that I felt sorry not just for the sisters, but for Nicholas and Alexandra as well, as they struggled with the pressures of pleasing their county along with raising their five children. I could feel their frustrations when they didn't have a boy at first, I felt their helplessness when they were so dependent on Rasputin, and their guilt whenever Alexei would suffer from his Hemophilia.

I did discover new things that I didn't know about the family while reading this amazing book, even though I thought I already knew everything there possibly was to know about the Romanovs.

Of course the ending made me cry...

Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia were nothing more than four teenage girls who dealt with things that every teenage girl deals with. They had crushes on handsome soldiers, insecurities about their looks, disagreements with their parents, and loads of schoolwork to do.
It's hard for me to think of them going through the things they did.
I imagine myself and my sisters, I imagine if it were us in their place. What makes Me, Chauncea, Erin, Emma, and Leigha any different than the four Romanov sisters? What makes my brothers any different from Alexei?
They didn't deserve the ending they got. Nobody in that situation really does. But it happened.

History is one of my favorite things. It blows my mind how all the stories from all over the world act as a point, each point connecting to another, like a twisting line on my graph paper that only God can make sense of. I've been doing a lot of graphing, can you tell? Making the world as it is today.

Not everything goes great. There's so much tragedy twisted through the timeline, and that's because we live in an imperfect world. It's hard for me to realize the purpose behind it all when I learn about a story such as the short lives of the Romanov sisters.
But in the end I have to remember that this all is not only the story of the humans, it is the story of God. It all really happened, and there is a beautiful reason for it, even though I might not know it yet.

God is a plotter, and he is the best author ever

And that's why I adore learning history so much.
***
P.S. I know I most likely bored you all to death with my obsession with the Russian Royal family, and I apologize if I did, but hey, it was going to explode out of me sometime. Seriously, though, I recommend you at least go look up the story. It's so intriguing and interesting.