There are many things I often wonder “what if?” about. Those nights I’m up and can’t fall back asleep, this is what I often think about.
What if I had made myself move out years ago? What if my step dad had never left the picture? What if my own dad was more of a father in my life? What if I had booked that flight to California when I had the money, and seen that boy I was once crazy about? Would we be together?
What if my mom hadn’t of listened to me when I was fourteen, and had moved us to Pittsburgh way back then. I didn’t want to leave my school, my friends, because I was sick of moving. Now I wish we had, because we would’ve been established by now. Maybe I would’ve gone to a much better school for college. Most likely I would have. By now, I’d have a better shot for jobs, or already be on my own.
But I guess that’s why they call it “what if?” – because we will never know. If my situation had turned way back then, I never would have met the very few people who I still call my best friends. My best friend I met in college. There’s that slim possibility I would’ve met Ray, but somehow also doubtful.
It’s weird to think about. It’s like that movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, and not in the fact that he wishes he were never born, but in the fact he got to see what life would be like if his “what if?” was answered. And it wasn’t better, it was worse. Your life has a purpose, and yes, life is what you make it, but if you keep wondering “what if?” you’re never going to fully embrace your current reality.
There is only one now, one present. Your past is your past, it’s about knowing you’re doing what you can, and moving on. The future really is what you make it, if you try. We all make so many excuses about why we’re stuck or why we’re unhappy – I’m especially guilty of this. But once you hit a certain age, it stops being someone else’s fault, and it starts becoming your own. If you’re unhappy with your situation, wondering “what if?” isn’t going to change anything. Keep moving forward, and start today on trying to change where you’re going. The only person who can motivate you is you.
I’m guilty of wondering “what if” I had started this years ago. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is now. There is so much more I want out of life, and the longer I stay here, the more unsatisfied I am with where I am. I have to make moves to get my ass into gear, and that means making myself motivate to get stuff done. No one else can do that, only me.
So I’m not going to ponder on “what if’s” anymore. I’m going to keep moving forward and set goals for myself. Because I have the potential to be doing something so much better with myself, and I’m capable of working a job I’m much happier with.
The problem is we get scared of change, as much as we want to embrace it. How can we up and quit a job and move somewhere new? How do you do that when you’re hands are tied helping your mother, at least a little while longer? It’s scary walking into the real world, no one really prepares you for it. You go to school for how many years, and then half of us go and take on more school because that’s what we know. Once that’s over, no one prepares you for the reality of the world.
But if you sit still, and you don’t make moves, only excuses, you’re never going to get anywhere in life. You have to fight for what you want, and you have to try. Stop wondering those “what ifs” about your life, it doesn’t help. If anything, it makes you sad or yearn for something else. I’d rather focus on the present.
As a side comment, I’m really only talking about when you’re pondering those “what ifs” about your own life. While it sucks being plagued with ridiculous thoughts at night, wondering “what if this is reality?” And the like can actually make for an interesting story idea (The Matrix).