Perhaps there really are more than two paths in life, but let’s just presume there are two for the moment. Which one do you take? And how do you know that the path you choose is the right one?
When I was in college I took a theater and drama class that required the students to attend two plays. I hate plays so this was not the most fun aspect of the class for me. Unfortunately one of the shows was a musical and I hate musicals. A musical on any day is bad, but a musical on a full day of work, followed by the mother of all migraines is even worse. Still, it was a musical with a message and as a psychology major I couldn’t ignore that. Into the Woods was the production the drama students were putting on. The premise is that you take the fairytale, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, etc., and you follow it past the Happily Ever After ending. Unfortunately we had to sit through the first half—the getting to the HEA part, and then there was a break before seeing how life turned out after the HEA for these fairytale characters. The interesting thing was that sometimes we get what we think we want and then realize that maybe the grass isn’t always greener. There are consequences to every decision in life. Every path that we choose to take we have good, bad and maybe a little indifference that we have to deal with.
For some reason, today, after going online and catching up on Desperate Housewives, a show I haven’t watched since the second season, I started thinking once again about decisions and consequences. Of course there are no dead bodies to dig up from my past, but I thought about the other decisions I made. What if? Those two words put together can spawn a lot of in-depth soul searching. What if I hadn’t majored in psychology and I had majored in art or music, two things I love? What if I had never stopped playing violin just because I ended up transferring to a school without a music program? What if I had done things differently—gone right instead of left so to speak?
I try to envision how things might be different. Had I stayed in Washington State, and in the PsyD program then I wouldn’t have done as much with my writing as I do now—or would I? I don’t know. That’s the thing about life. You never know what your life would have been like had you decided on a different course of action. You can speculate, but you never fully know. I have some things that I wonder if I had found my strength in my own decisions sooner, in my own ability to be myself without fearing judgment from the people I love, would my life be better, or worse? Right now I think it’s not so bad. There are things I wouldn’t mind changing. I would so love to move to Hawaii…of course getting there and loving it there are two totally different things.
The one thing, if nothing else, that is coming with age for me is wisdom. I’m glad I finally can understand that being who I am is okay. It doesn’t matter if my family loves it or hates it because I’m the person who has to live with me. When they’re off living their own lives with their own families, at the end of the day, I have to live with me. So, that knowledge in hand I’ve pretty much learned the value of just being happy with where I am in life. Changes are fine, but being content, not always searching for greener pastures when the pastures you’re in are really green enough…now that’s an amazing sense of freedom.
Are there things I want to change in the future? Of course. I’m still figuring some things out. But for the most part I’ve resolved myself to being content with the path I’ve chosen. After all, life is in the journey; so why not see where the path chosen will lead instead of always searching for the greener pasture?