Roads Not Taken

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.

On the other hand, what you do know is some things you wouldn’t have if you had made different decisions.

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.

5 comments

      • Work life is hell, home life is purgatory, the area I live is an energy suck. The cage is a lattice work of by bad decisions. I don’t have the means to escape.
        Help? Nah. This isn’t depression, it is reality. We live in a world where there are, at times, situations that bring us down, and that is life. Sometimes there are reasons for not being happy.
        Thank you. You are a good soul.

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  1. All the time. I wish, for one thing, that I had got around to writing much sooner in my life, although that wasn’t a decision so much as too many other complications. But I also wonder whether i made wrong decisions as to what kind of writing I did when I finally got around to it. In a way i chose what was at the time “the road less traveled by,” but that also seemed to be the path of least resistance. Not always the best choice.

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    • Totally understandable, Sacchi. But since we can’t turn back time, all we can do is make the most of today. You more than made up for lost time with the quality of your work.

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