The Path Not Taken
I honestly really want to know (and this is not a ploy to see how much readership I have as I’m pretty certain it’s a remarkably low number) how many of you spend time thinking of the roads you’ve chosen to walk throughout your life compared to the road you could be walking right now but aren’t because you decided (maybe at the last minute) to change direction.
I tend to think of things like this sporadically and have done so all my adult life really. It could be a direct reflection of the fact that I am a procrastinator who has a tough time just deciding what shoes I want to wear in the morning and still wonders if she should have went with the little red heels despite being two hours out the door after choosing the comfortable black flats. I don’t often spend a lot of time emulating on past decisions that have brought me to the place where I am because I’m mostly fulfilled (because I don't think anyone is really living a life where they have absolutely everything they ever dreamed of). But sometimes I wonder if there really is a parallel universe out there, where I’m living a completely different life from this one and if in that life I am content, or even happy, or if in fact its all gone completely wrong.
What if I had stayed with my first serious boyfriend, a guy who I loved in a shockingly unbalanced way. Neither one of us was what you would call temperate in the relationship which proved at times to be so tumultuous it resulted in the very best of my 20 year old self being drained of all reason. I had to make a lot of tough choices in that relationship, some which come back to haunt me even now, 16 years later. But I wonder if we would have been able to work past our issues, grow into the reasonably mature adults we are now? Probably not. We just didn’t work together and because I at least had the ability to see this, I ended it. But say we had ended up together and were still together - how would I cope with living with a man who has just been handed a death sentence? I’m sad for this man, sad that he is dying when after spending the last 15 years trying to sort out his life, of finally settling down and getting married and having two sons he has found himself knocking on death’s door. But at the same time I’m relieved that I’m not with him, relieved that I didn’t have to live a life of struggles and hardship, only to have him die on me.
I sometimes think of the life I might be living if I hadn’t decided to move to England. It’s hard to comprehend at times, it really is. Because I don’t think I could be any more content. Although I miss my family, I know its not forever and I have to take advantage of living this experience while it lasts. If I had gone down another road with the man I debated marrying prior to Andy, we might have three children by now and live in a house by the sea, but nothing could make up for the fact that his family were just a group of self-centred assholes and having children within this family wouldn’t make up for it. (When you marry someone, you marry their family – my husband learned that the hard way during his first marriage.) I’ve instead chose to live my life with a man who came with a ready-made family - a family who accepted me immediately and whom I love and respect more than anything and whom I know give me that love and respect straight back.
I know I’m not out there living in another dimension, happier than I am now. Life has lead me to where I am and it’s a path I would turn around and take again if given the chance. It’s not always been easy but I don’t believe it’s the easy road that necessarily leads you to the best places.