As should be evident if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, I didn’t take the traditional, expected life path. Instead, I veered off into the woods, sometimes cutting my own path, sometimes following one that I found.
Naturally, walking a road like this in the midst of many friends took the paved freeway (which is in no way an insult; they did it their ways and I’m doing it mine and together we fight crime, or something), I think about what if. I wonder if my family and friends ever think about what if when it comes to my life. I have a sneaking suspicion they have more regrets about my existence than I do.
But let’s play what if for a second, shall we?
What if I went to proper college right out of high school? What if I’d gone to another state to study? Or even stayed in IL, but lived on campus. What would I have studied? What degree would I have ended up with? Would I have ended up with a degree? Would I have stayed all four years? Would I have gone for a Masters? A PhD?
What if I had gotten married? Had kids? Would I still live in town? Would my hubby and I have moved to bigger cities looking for prosperity? How many kids would I have by now? Would I be a working mom? Would even still be married? Would I be divorced? Would I be looking for husband number two? Married to husband number two? Would I have step-kids? Would my kids have half-siblings? Or would I be struggling to make it alone as a single mom, the wounds from my divorce too deep to heal?
What if I had moved out at 18? At 21? Would I be stuck in some job I hate trying to make ends meet so I don’t have to move back home? Would I be putting up with being miserable for the sake of some notion of independence? Would I be forfeiting my dreams to be considered an adult?
What if I took the freeway of life? What if I did all of the things most other people do? Would I be here now? Would I be writing? Would I be blogging? Would I be published? Would I be hustling? Would I be wondering how to make the ends meet? Would I be annoyed by a rejection letter with my name misspelled? Would I be a best-selling novelist? Or would I have never written another word because I was too busy being a grown-up?
Like the Tootsie Pop, the world may never know.