What If…

I tend to do a lot of my deep thinking while in the shower. In fact, I was just mulling over the main topic this whole post is about and rushed out of the shower and started typing as fast as possible so I wouldn’t forget anything. I don’t know what it is about showers..maybe it’s the white noise, maybe it’s the fact that you are just alone with your thoughts and nothing to distract you. Whatever it is, I need some sort of waterproof notepad to write everything down. Much easier than rushing to the computer and failing to completely wash the conditioner out of your hair. Anyway, I digress…

I’ve always been one to think about all the different outcomes for my decisions. I know it’s not healthy to live in the past or just look toward the future, but stay with me for a moment. Most of the time, I can clearly see where my decisions would have taken me if I had decided on a different path. If I hadn’t dropped out of college the first time, I probably would be a teacher somewhere. If I had graduated after my second university attempt, I’d be a manager of some hotel, running events and losing my mind. If I had stayed married, I’d be in a pit of depression so deep I don’t even know if I would be functioning. If I hadn’t moved back to Texas after dropping out of college, the marriage wouldn’t have happened in the first point. If I never moved to Germany and stayed in Tyler like I was temporarily tempted to, I’d be bored out of my mind in Texas right now.

What I’ve come to realize, especially in the last few months or so when thinking about all of these different possible outcomes, is that I’m thankful for the decisions I have made, the paths I have gone down. I’ve always been a firm believer of things in life happening for a reason, and while I don’t dwell on the “what if” question, I do think it’s a good thing to think about occasionally if for no other reason than to see how much you’ve changed from the decisions you did make. The key in all of this is to not let the “what if”s paralyze you.

This also comes into play when thinking about plans for the future. I have a skeleton plan laid out- spend some time in Alaska, write a book on adoption, and travel- but I don’t plan for many specifics anymore. Whenever I have in the past, I’ve just been disappointed when things don’t work out exactly according to plan. So while I still think it’s important to have some idea of an end goal, deadlines and specifics can just make you feel like you’ve failed if things don’t work out the way you want.

Moments in life serve some sort of purpose. Every experience can have a lesson if you try to stay aware of that. The most important thing I’ve learned recently is to enjoy the moment I’m in.

Kelsterbach, Germany- May 2014
Kelsterbach, Germany- May 2014

listening to: The Civil Wars, Iron & Wine

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