"But that guy really likes you. What is the problem?"
"All he's been talking about is marriage this, settling down that. Abegiiii!"
"And what is so wrong with that? I'm lost"
"My sister that's the last thing on my mind. I'm not even remotely ready. Maybe in four or five years. I've still got so much I need to see, and do, and accomplish. Why would I cut short my life just like that?"
And that ended that.
This morning as I drove to the mainland I saw the familiar face from the corner of my eye. There she was in the car beside mine, *Ego. And behind the driver seat was the very colourful carseat which encased her littlest one. There were two older kids in the car. There she was, my childhood bestie, mother of three vibrant boys.
I slowed down, allowing her drive ahead of me, filled with dread at the thought of her turning to her left and seeing me and my car, devoid of an kids, husband or, life... We haven't seen in so many years. The above dialogue was one of the last conversations we had, this was a few months priority to her wedding. We were in our early 20s, 22 and 23 precisely, and for the life of me I couldn't understand why my friend was so eager to throw her life away.
We were in our early 20s, life had just begun for us for Christ's sake, we still had our whole lives ahead of us! We had so much to do, the world was ours to explore, we had to sleep with more men to know just how fantastic sex could be, we had parties to attend, exploits to achieve, countries to visit, as single women, not married and saddled with little rug rats! Why on earth would Ego throw all this away, all the possibilities, fun, adventure, games, trips, parties, opportunities, men, people, new friends, and most especially FREEDOM, just WHY?
And today as I hid from my former bestie, the one whom I had my first quarel with at age 6, the one whom I had my first fake kiss with at age 11, the one whom I told about my first crush at age 13, the who whom I condemned for wedding and boycotted her bridal train at age 22, I wondered if it was all worth it.
I've spent most of my day thinking of my parallel universe, if it exists. Just what if I actually married that great guy and started having kids back then? Would my life have been so terrible? No. And of this I'm certain, because of all the things I thought I'd be throwing away or giving up by getting married back then, I eventually had none, did none, achieved none...
And while this isn't coming from a place of regret, I actually wasn't ready, mentally and psychologically, it's made me think about the things we've lost because of the things we thought we could have. The opportunities we pass up on because we believe that there's something bigger around the corner. The relationships we condemn because we imagine there's someone better. The life we fail to live because we're rather certain that there's a better one just around the corner. The pregnancies, possibilities and passions we abort because we think there's something better in store, or maybe because we're just afraid and unsure...
And what happens when years down the line you realize that at that moment when you stood at the middle of that Y junction and the decision was entirely yours to either go right or left, you chose to go right. And now years later, you try to imagine what life would be like if you'd chosen left, because as it's turned out, right wasn't so great after all. What would life be like if you'd just gone left? Where would the road have led? Where would you be now?
I've spent all day thinking about my parallel universe. Do you ever imagine what your life would have been like if you pursued a certain course or followed one path instead of another?
Do you have any reason in your life to wonder 'what if?', or wish you'd taken a path different from the one you chose? Do you ever wonder about your parallel universe? Tell me.