Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if things had been different. Mostly with my love life, but also with a few other things. I have made so many choices that have seemed like mistakes. It’s hard to know if they were truly mistakes, or if things would have turned bad with different decisions.
What if my mom had not married her current husband, and we had stayed in Newton instead of moving out into the country in Sully? There are so many people I would not have met. I may not have even gone to Ankeny to live with my dad at all, which would have probably had the biggest trickle-down effect on my entire life. I’m pretty sure I would be an entirely different person.
What if I had not have messed things up with my high school sweetheart** and we had stayed together? We had already been together for about 2 years, lived together, and were buying a car together. We were doing well, until my insecurities got in the way and I foolishly turned to an old ex for comfort. One thing led to another and I cheated with him. But what if I hadn’t? Would he and I still be together, or would we have split up and gone our separate ways anyway? I truly planned on staying with him forever, and long-term, reliable relationships have always been my goal.
What if I had fallen deeper in love with [an online romance in Mexico]** and moved to Mexico to be with him? Part of me believes [an online romance in Mexico]** wanted me to be his wife. We chatted for many months, possibly over a year. If I had been more confident in my Spanish and my own abilities, I certainly would have gone to him. I wanted to, but I was uncertain and afraid. Would that have been a good choice? I don’t know. But as soon as I moved in my own direction, he married the other woman he had been chatting with online. They have stayed together, as far as I last knew. Another potential long-term and reliable relationship I missed out on.
What if I had stayed in North Carolina or Arkansas when I tried to move there? I was headed down a pretty dark path the first time I went to AR, and the second time likely would have killed me if I had stayed, due to the urgency of my pregnancy with Evan, and the distance I was from any medical care. Clearly my then-husband** and I would not have worked out in NC, just like we didn’t here in Iowa, so I would have been on my own away from my family. But it could have been the push I needed to make my life more successful sooner, instead of falling back on my mom for help. There are a lot of possibilities in this one.
What if I had never been with Jason? I never would have had to endure witnessing the death of a lover. But at the same time, I never would have felt the undying, unconditional love that we felt for one another. His death messed my head up for a long time, but the therapy I got following his death is what straightened out a lot of other issues I had. There are good and bad with this one, and so many more factors and details I’m not going to take the time to write about in this one post.
What if I had never met Sean? This one is hard to imagine because we have build quite the life together in the last 4 years. Lots of good, and lots of bad, all swirled around bringing me to the present. I have absolutely no clue where I would be today if it wasn’t for Sean. His presence in my life and the love we share is what inspired me to be a better person. It is what has inspired me to seek treatment for my grief, depression and anxiety. It is what has pushed me to try working, and ultimately led me to find my passion working with animals. Our committed relationship has given me the freedom and focus to improve myself in so many ways. It has taught me deeper patience, forgiveness, and inner peace. It has taught me that I don’t always have to speed through all of my decisions, that sometimes it’s best to sit on an idea for a while to find a way to make it work better. It has taught me that sometimes I need to be ridiculously stubborn to make things happen, but that if I want it and work hard enough at it, it WILL happen. And I know there is so much more the future holds for me now! I don’t feel trapped and helpless by my mental or financial states anymore. The sky’s the limit!
So many possibilities in one life. So many choices, and forks in the road of my journey. And all of those choices, both my choices, and those of the people who have affected my choices, and it all lead to right here and right now. And I’m only just getting started…
**Some names omitted to protect the privacy of others involved.