Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Just Wondering...

Do you ever find yourself lost in a “what if” moment? Ordinarily, I live my life by the philosophy that nothing is destined, that life is a great big “choose your own adventure” book. Each choice moves you in a direction you might not otherwise have gone and opens up a whole new array of choices. I try to look at what ifs as choices made and move on. But every now and then, one gets the best of me.

I always support my philosophy with the story of my slacking off in my senior year of college. I spent most of the year tossing around the notion of finding a job instead of going to grad school right away, only to find out halfway through the summer just how unmarketable an English Lit degree really is. Virtually my only option was a regional state school that was not only still accepting grad applications but also offering an assistantship. To supplement the assistantship stipend, I applied for part time work in a million places and happened to get hired first at TGIFriday’s. Almost all of the important people in my life I met there. Those school and work decisions from seven years ago still affect the path I’m on today.

But just imagine: what if I’d been motivated my last year of college? What if I’d gone to Notre Dame or NYU or Brown? What if I’d been hired at Houlihans or the GAP? Where would I be now? Who would my friends be? Life would be undeniably different.

Lately I’ve been wondering about other what ifs. Deeper, aching what ifs. If nothing is destined, then it can’t really be true that someone else is living the life I was meant to have. But sometimes it feels that way. There was a time when I had everything I wanted. But, of course, it wasn’t enough. I wanted more. I wanted better. I said and did the stupid things that people do when they are never content. And now I’m left wondering, what if I’d said yes instead of no? What if I’d taken the risk? What if I had refused to walk away? Maybe I’d be living that life still wondering what else might have been, just like I am now. Maybe things would have turned out like I then believed they would, badly. Or maybe I’d be living the life I’ve always secretly wanted instead of writing about it.

Unfortunately there are no do-overs. Sometimes once a series of choices is made, you’re stuck in the present and might not ever return to a place where it’s possible to cancel out those old mistakes with better choices. Sometimes all the new, good choices in the world can’t make up for the opportunities that have already passed you by. Life doesn’t always come full circle. But, oh, how I wish, just this once, it could.


  1. There was a time when I lived in the what if. When I constantly questioned myself and every choice I had made or was going to make based on that... Now, I don't do that. And, I think it's because I'm finally really happy and content. I was always looking and searching for... something. For more. What I had was never enough and I ruined a lot of things both intentionally and unintentionally as a result. But, now... There are no what if's because there is no other path for me....
    I love it when you blog.

  2. Wow... I must say... this is my favorite A-boogie blog's the closest one that I can relate to.

  3. my life is one big what if...i live in a dream world, i guess. you should try it. it's fun :]