The Life I Could Have Lived

Maybe it’s because it’s because it’s the beginning of a new year. It could be because I had a pretty big milestone birthday at the end of last year. Perhaps it’s the fact that my eldest is leaving for university later this year. Maybe I just need to eat more greens! Whatever it is, I’m in a fairly reflective mood.  

It’s inevitable at some times isn’t it, to consider the person you could have been? What if I’d turned a different corner? Gone to university at 18 instead of 40, how would that have made my life different? In that life, would I have had my kids earlier or later? Would I have had them at all? What about the ONE who might have been? Would I have worked harder to sort that out? Would I have married the man I chose, remained single or would there have been someone else? The friendships that fell away alongside house and work moves. The friends I have now, would they still be there? We perhaps may have met in some parallel universe? The job, the career, was as my becoming a coach inevitable? All roads leading to Rome?

  The lives that might have been, the choices we didn’t make, would they have made me a different person or would I just be a different version of the same me?  

We lie awake at night contemplating the options, sometimes giving ourselves a metaphorical kick, as we view a portion of our past with nostalgia or regret and wish we had acted in a different way. Other times remembering the nerve of my youth, I wonder where that girl went? Was she replaced by choices, or did I just grow up and grow into the woman I am now?

  I wonder if these lives are presented like doors off a corridor. Choosing and then opening that door, being akin to walking through the back of the wardrobe into a whole new Narnia? Is that how this works?  

I suppose the answer is that none of us knows and not to confuse reflection with melancholy, I’m largely more than happy with the way things have turned out. Sure I’d give a couple of tweaks here and there, but who wouldn’t? And who knows what I’d have got in return? I’m not looking over my shoulder with regret, it’s just that sometimes, like the rest of us, I wonder…

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  1. Deb Kilvington on January 13, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    I wonder too. Sometimes I’m embarrassed by the choices I made in retrospect. I see unhealthy patterns and constant efforts to conform. But I have a great job and one child so precious to me while others were not to be. I have a home and pets, a great car and comfortable life. I have a few close friends and an angelic grandson.

    I did go to university at 36. I have learned much and hope for more but because I let fate decide, I haven’t done the ‘what kind of girl might I have been’. I make that a lucky strike. X

    • katherine on January 19, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      It’s an interesting thought isn’t it Deb? But I agree, the past is a place of reference rather than a place to reside in. Definitely a lucky strike! X

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