As I was lying in bed this morning trying to gather enough energy to make it to the coffee pot that sits a mere 20 steps away, I somehow got to thinking about all of the life decisions-some big, some small-we make on a daily basis that ultimately play a part in moving our lives forward and getting us to where we 'end up', so to speak. There are times, just out of curiosity, that I'd love to be able to take a glimpse into an alternate universe and see how things might have been.
When I was a young girl, about 14, I had the biggest crush on a friend's older brother. At that time I was very close to the whole family. I spent a lot of time at their house hanging out with my friend and not so secretly fantasizing about the future that her brother and I would, OF COURSE, eventually share. A few years later he found out I liked him, I don't really remember how it came out, but I do remember the heartache that followed. Not only did he not like me in that way, but he barely knew I existed. I was devastated. I think I stayed in my room for a full 24 hours, with the curtains closed, getting out of bed only to flip over my Pearl Jam tape.
Time passed. I got over the heartache. My friend and I grew apart. Life went on. For the most part, I've lost touch with all of the people from my former life. But I hear things through the grapevine. The last I heard about my first real crush, was that at almost 40, he was still single and still living at home with his mom. (Let me make this clear. He didn't move out and then move back in because of some financial or other type of hardship. He NEVER left home.) Obviously, he is no one I'd look at twice today, but I still can't help thinking about how my life may have been had he liked me in the way that I liked him. His family is very conservative and they place a lot of importance on traditional male/female roles. Dad worked, mom cooked and cleaned. Had we ended up together I don't think either one of us would have been very happy.
I think what originally got me to thinking about all of this was my son's 13th birthday. By most standards, I was young when I had him, only 21. There are times, when I'm feeling sorry for myself, that I regret starting a family so young. I didn't go to college, I haven't yet seen New York City. Jay and I didn't do a lot of living on our own before we had to start living with baby. How would my life be different if I had waited, two, five, ten years to have a child?
But then I look around. I take a close look at people. The world is filled with folks who seem to have done things the 'ideal' way, and they don't appear to be any happier than I am. Things aren't perfect in my life (and I doubt they ever will be), but I have a husband who wants nothing more than to see me happy and I have two kids who I love more and more with each passing day. It's such a cliche', but life is truly what you make of it.
So, if I did hold the key to an alternate universe and I was able to see all of the what if's and could have been's, would I do it? Probably not. Through Facebook, I've caught up with enough people from my past to be able to say that nothing, not even happiness, is ever a guarantee. And the grass on the other side? Yeah, it's never as green as we think it's going to be.
What about you? What what if's do you think about?