Monday, March 16, 2015

10 years on

We travel down any number of roads in our lives that have served to bring us to where we presently are and to form us into what we have become. Yet there is most certainly not a single unique path from point A to point B, from a given moment in the past to a given moment in the future. A dozen different decisions could have been made at any instant and we likely would have ended up far from where we find ourselves. Consider what would have happened if you chose a different college, or a different company, or a different spouse.

Sometimes the available options at any given moment turn out to be fairly benign, each leading to an outcome with more or less the same parameters. Sometimes a different decision would lead us to a different location, with a different group of friends, but that really only amounts to changing the scenery on our sets. The actors and their dialog would remain very much the same. However, for most of us, there are certain critical decision points or branch nodes along our timeline where a different choice would lead us to a completely different and distinct existence.

For me the node points in my past that give me pause are each connected with relationships. My choice of vocation, the town that I live in, the stuff that I have purchased, none of that matters to me. I have made my choices and I comfortably live with what I have without any energy wasted on could haves, should haves, would haves. It is the relational decisions that I tend to beat myself up over where I lost someone close to me due to arrogance, laziness, cowardice, insecurity, naiveté, pride, frustration, or cluelessness.

Ten years ago my wife made the decision to end our marriage, a decision that has impacted every day of my life since that time. In that moment I was caught by complete surprise as my own manufactured existence was light years from the reality that we lived in. I wonder now where we would be and how I would view my life if things had gone differently. This kind of thought game is of course an utterly foolish one to engage in as it can only lead to defeatist thoughts. Yet I still play on.

Take me back in time maybe I can forget
Turn a different corner and we never would have met ...
George Michael