I think we all know that life has unexpected turns and twists… and that trying to anticipate exactly what our lives will look like in the future is an exercise in futility. And yet, I persist in thinking that I can predict where I will be, what I will be doing, and with whom, far into the future. I think most of us do this – and if you are the rare person who can truly live in the moment and not project forward into the future, well, I envy you in some ways.
Life rarely aligns with our neat and tidy predictions. The challenge for me, as I’m sure it is for many other people, is recognizing this and accepting it. Knowing that, while I have control over my actions and choices, I don’t have control over what others do, or what happens in the wider world.
And sometimes my choices set me on a path that maybe wasn’t the one that I wanted my life to follow, but (as is typically the case with these things) that didn’t become apparent until after the fact.
It makes me wonder, what would have happened had I made different choices? I have always loved the movie Sliding Doors. The concept – that we have parallel, simultaneous lives unfolding that result from different choices – has always appealed to me. A similar concept – the multiverse – was in Blake Crouch’s book Dark Matter.
What would my life be like now if I made different choices in the past? What would have happened if I had listened to my gut and turned down the wrong job for me several years ago, when I became convinced that the job I was in was the wrong one? Turns out it wasn’t just the wrong job, but the wrong location. My gut knew this – I cried during the entire two day drive to the location for the new job – but I wasn’t willing to listen.
Recently these thoughts have extended to more personal aspects of my life, in addition to job-related changes… namely, what would my life have been like if I had never gotten married? If I had married someone else, at a different point in my life? If I had been able to have children?
So many questions, yet no answers. This is the life I have. And it’s a good one, despite my occasional bouts of questioning. The challenge for me is accepting that, while looking into the past is appealing at times, the only thing I control is the future.
What choices will I make now that will influence the path of my life in the future?
, as always, nails it with this…
If I see clearly now, how will I use that to make the best choices for me, for the future? So many questions… so few answers. And only time will tell… only in hindsight will I see that where I end up is the result of the decisions I make now and in the future. The life I have is the only one I WILL have. Time to make the best of it.