The trajectory of my life is made up by a series of big and small choices I make and the consequences of these choices that eventually create my unique story.
Sometimes we do not have a choice and must deal with the repercussions anyway.
We of course do not have a choice of when and where we are born.
We do not have a choice whether we have brothers or sisters loving, caring parents.
Only as we grow older, our options for choice expand.
Which school subjects must I take?
Who will I hang out with?
Will I study hard or party harder?
Life became even more complex when I had to choose the person, I am going to spend most of my life with.
Should I marry this person?
Will we have children?
Will we move away for a better job opportunity?
Or emigrate to another country?
Each choice comes packaged with its own set of consequences which in turn creates new scenarios and choices that stem from that…
It is a choice and consequence spiral that never ends.
As a kid, I loved reading those “choose your own adventure” mystery books.
You could choose a path and lead the story in a whole new direction.
Sometimes I would go back to my first choice and change it, just to see if I could get better options down the line.
One of my classmates in school took these books very seriously. He would document each choice he made as well as his follow up choices. He would then go back and try as many alternative routes as he could to get the best possible ending to the story.
This fascinated me and made me realize at the age of 12 that life can be one hell of a gamble sometimes.
I concluded that I would need to trust my gut feeling and learn how to make good choices for myself as I grow up.
This includes not only thinking about the choices I need to make, but also the consequences afterwards both on a short term and long-term basis.
Life does not have a rewind button. We can only move forward.
If I make a not-so-good choice I can be stuck with the aftermath of that choice for the rest of my life.
There will be no reset button or revise option.
Being the over-thinker that I am, my own behavior and that of other people has always intrigued me.
I find the way people make choices fascinating! I am captivated by the why.
Why do some folks make big, life altering choices so easily with no real foresight of possible serious consequences?
I am in awe of people who can go with the flow and see where life takes them because my over-analyzing brain is certainly not built like that!
Growing older I have learned to be a bit more relaxed and non-judgmental of other people and their choices.
Just because something is right for me, does not mean it will be right for someone else.
I have also learned to fight the urge of the dreaded what if
What if I made a different choice?
What if I never moved to America at 18?
What if I studied something else?
Getting stuck in a what if cycle will drive me insane.
I cannot go back and re-route my choices like a “choose your own adventure” book.
Fact is, present day, my life is made up of all the choices I have made so far, made more complicated and interesting by choices that others made for me – even though I always have a choice of how I will react to something out of my control.
My life story would not be uniquely mine if it were not for all these random big and small choices along the way.
I made a promise to myself a while back to never feel regret about anything that has happened to me in the past, seeing as I can only move forward. If I made a bad choice, I could work on my behavior and mindset to act better in future.
I am only in control of the present and how I choose to react to situations and circumstances around me, today.
I am only in charge of the course of action I can choose on this present day.
I cannot change anything about what was and dwelling on the what ifs will make me miss out on what is.
Honestly, life would be boring if it were predictable.
If we could go back and choose our own ending and start from scratch, where will the thrill be in that?
When it comes to my choices. All I can hope is that I will make decisions that will turn out positive for me and lead me on a path to a successful, happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
With regards to this present moment:
I hope I can appreciate my life for the what is as I navigate this journey of growing older and reaching what will be.