Do you ever wonder how your life, or an aspect of your life, would be different had you made a particular decision differently?
I do. All the time. About several decisions.
I think about what road (usually better) I’d be going down if I had decided on A instead of B. It’s kind of like Let’s Make a Deal, where the contestant gets to choose curtains number one, two, or three. It sucks so hard to end up with a year’s supply of tuna fish only to find out that you passed up a new car or trip to Hawaii.The difference, though, is that on that game show, you get to see what you missed out on. In life, you don’t know what the road not traveled might have had in store for you. It may have been something worse than what you now have. Maybe, instead of a year’s worth of tuna, you’d have ended up with a box of earthworms. Or a lifetime supply of peanut butter…when you’re allergic to peanuts.
For example, one of the things I often wonder is what path my career would have taken if I had chosen a different internship in college. I was offered two, and I took the one that called to me at the time. But looking back on it, and knowing what I want now, I wish I had taken the other one. However, had I done so, I’m pretty sure I would have ended up with different jobs, which means I never would have met the members of my writers’ group, who not only have helped me grow as a writer but who I consider some of my most treasured friends. How less rich my life would be without them in it.
I sometimes don’t know what to make of it all or how to feel about it. I’m so grateful for my friends, but I struggle with depression over my career situation. They say you can’t have everything, but I can’t understand why not.The trick, I guess, is to not punish ourselves. After all, hindsight is 20/20, right? We make the decisions we make with the information we have at the time. Plus, we don’t have Monty Hall there to make us laugh if we end up with a goat.