Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D is for Divergence


Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


- Robert Frost


Divergence - That place where what could be becomes what might have been.

We've all been there, looking to the future, trying to choose the correct path for ourself, making the decision and then turning around in the weeks, months and years to come and wondering if the decision was the correct one. It's human nature, although it serves no real purpose but to drive us crazy.

This is one of my faults. This is one of the places (and trust me, there are hundreds, if not thousands of them) where I fall down. It is my innate character to second-guess myself and to torture myself with those "what might have been" moments. Truly what might have been would probably have been no better than what is and, in fact in many cases, would have been worse. But you can't see fault in what might have been. There is no hindsight, no 20/20 vision into what we can't know.

I've spent my whole life wondering: what if I had looked different growing up? What if I had acted differently? What if my parents had been a different sort?

Then, as I moved into adulthood, the questions became: what if I had finished college immediately after high school? What if I hadn't gone through my wild stage? What if I hadn't met The Hubs? What if I hadn't gotten married at 24?

And in more recent years: what if we hadn't made the decision to leave England? What if we had bought a home there and undergone fertility treatment there? What if some of the personal decision we made had been different?

Would we still be the people we are today? Or would we be better? Worse? Would we be facing the problems we currently face? Or would the new problems we would have be worse than the current ones?

If I could change one thing about myself, it would be this overwhelming need to torture myself with the what-might-have-beens of my life. It serves no real purpose but to depress me, yet it isn't something I seem able to let go of.

Do you have what-might-have-been moments in your life? If so, what are they? Or have you managed to convince yourself to let this habit go? If so, how?

4 comments:

Kristin said...

I think we all have those moments of think what if. I try to remind myself that for better or worse the things I ahve done in the past have lead me to where I am today and overall I am pretty happy with where I am

A Shadow of My Former Self said...

Long ago the power to second guess myself and revisit those very difficult points of divergence in my life were overwhelming. I was pretty good at beating myself up too, wondering if I did the right thing and agonizing over the "how it could have been if I had done x instead of y".

Through the years I've curbed this habit by firmly telling myself that whatever decision I made at that time I made with all of knowledge and tools I had at the moment. Essentially, "I did the best I could with what I had".

Overall I figure that it all balances out eventually, the good and the bad decisions. I hope so at least!!!

Kristin said...

I definitely second guess myself and play the what if game. It can be really hard to stop.

Kakunaa said...

Oh, man, I hate those moments. When they happen, I look around me at all the good things I have...but the wondering never goes away.

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