The “What Ifs”

I’m a very indecisive person, if you don’t know me. My ability to take decisive action is something I’m constantly working on, but am still not very good at.

Let me give you a way-scaled-down version of what I’m talking about: I went out running this morning and made it to the corner of our block and still wasn’t sure which route I was going to run. I turned left, then jogged in place for a few seconds, turned right, then turned right back around and went left again. Classic Laura move, but one that usually happens in my mind rather than in public. At least I made the folks driving by laugh.

This indecisiveness leads to a lot of “what ifs.” I’m usually pretty good about sticking with a decision once I’ve made it, and try never to let my mind go down that track of “what if I made a different choice.” BUT…. I’ve got a bad case of the “what ifs” today.

What if we hadn’t chosen to move to TN when we graduated college? Where would we be today? What if I had followed a journalism career instead of a college/”sales” career? What if I had majored in the Classics instead of Journalism? What if I hadn’t chosen to go to Univ of Alabama, but went to Penn instead? Hell, what if my family had never moved to Alabama at all but stayed in Pennsylvania? Or Virginia? Or Mississippi, heaven forbid?

I think the reason I’m so indecisive is because I know that one day in the future, I’m going to be having another “what if” day and I want to be sure that I made the right decisions every step of the way. It puts a lot of pressure on every decision that is made.

I am by no means unhappy with the decisions that I’ve made, and love where each decision has taken me. I’m happy with my life, with all that I have, with where I’m going. This “what if” business doesn’t stem from a lack of contentment.

Rather, I think it stems from my overactive imagination and that writer side of me. Everything I see has a story to it (or I create one for it). When I was a kid, I used to love those “choose your own ending” books. But I could never stick with one ending. I would bookmark every page that had a decision on it, then once I finished the story one way, I’d go back and read it another way. One slightly different decision would change the course of the whole entire book.

The writer side of me still does that from time to time. I look at my own life, at all the big decisions I’ve made to get where I am today, and imagine what would have happened if I had chosen differently.

Yeah, I’m weird.

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