Friday, March 6, 2015
Do All Roads Lead to Rome?
Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week, 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.
My “Secret Subject” is: You chose that other job/school...how different is your life? It was submitted by: http://dinoheromommy.com/
Regret is a funny thing. I think we've all dealt with it at some point in our lives. Some people brush it off without much of a thought, but some people have let it take over their minds. I won't claim to know how this whole "life" thing works, but I do think that there are certain things that are meant to happen no matter what. I think the science fiction world calls them "fixed points."
When I look back at my life, there aren't really any things that I truly regret. I think every experience I have had has led me to be the person that I am today. Still, it's a interesting idea to think of what might have happened if a different choice had been made or a different path had been taken.
I went to a small high school in a small town. My graduating class had 104 students which was the largest class they had dealt with in many years. For comparison's sake, I think my brother's class the next year was only 88 or 89 students. I never felt like I fit into one group or another. I sang in the choir, I was part of the soccer team. I enjoyed being an altar server at church, but there were only 3-4 Catholic students in my class.
One summer morning, after serving at Mass, the priest approached me with an idea. He had heard about a youth ministry conference going on that summer and he wanted me to go. I remember wondering why he had picked me and how I could get out of it. I've never been one of those "try new things" kinds of people. As many of you may know, I ended up going, having an amazing, life changing experience, and diving deeply into the world of youth ministry. That world is where I met many of the people I am close to today. It's also how I got to know Ken.
But what if I hadn't gone? I'll never really know for sure, but let's just pretend for a little bit.
I'd like to think that if I hadn't gone on that retreat, I still would have gone on to deepen my faith in other ways. I honestly can't imagine my life without that aspect. I do know that I would have been much less likely to meet Ken. He went to a different high school an hour away, so it's not a place I would have had other reasons to visit.
I likely would have made the same college choice. I chose JMU because that's where my brother went, and we aren't changing his life choices, just mine. JMU would have been a different experience, though, without Ken's influence. He didn't go to school there, but he did visit frequently. And going to college with a boyfriend is very different from going to college without one.
I've never been much of a party person. I have always preferred a quiet night in with a good book. I did have some very social roommates though, so I imagine they would have managed to get me out every once in a while for a good time.
Since I went to college with a boyfriend who I eventually married, I didn't do any dating in college. Again, I don't regret being with Ken, but the college dating scene is one that gets played out on many sitcoms and movies, so I wonder how it would have been for me. Would I have met a guy at a party and hit if off right away? Would I have gone out on lots of different dates with lots of different guys? Taking my personality into account, I would have likely met someone and stuck him for a while.
Ken and I moved to Charlottesville for his job the night after my graduation . We got married six months later. But without him in the picture, would I have stayed in Harrisonburg or would I have had another boyfriend to follow somewhere else?
Harrisonburg seems like one of those fixed points in my history. We left but ended up back here and settling down. Without Ken, I would likely have stayed here and found a teaching position right away instead of leaving and coming back for a classroom.
Taking Ken out of the picture would obviously have affected my marriage and family, but how? Would I still have gotten married shortly after graduating? Getting married, getting a job, and having kids came one after the other pretty quickly in real life. They likely would have in my alternate reality as well. I think that's just how I'm wired. It's a fixed point.
Obviously those kids would be different ones since they wouldn't be half Ken's. Genders, ages, spacing, personalities...all those things are up in the air if the kids aren't a mixture of Ken and me, but I do remember always wanting three. I've often wondered about those families that only have one gender of kids. Is an all girl household quieter with more pink? Is an all boy household covered in dirt and sports equipment?
It's interesting to look at life and wonder "what if." It's a road I don't want to travel too far down, though, because like I said, I like where I am and I wouldn't trade it for anything. A different choice at a different point in time could have changed things completely around, or it could be that certain things were just meant to be and would have happened anyway, albeit in slightly different ways.
I could have made different choices or taken different paths, but I'd like to think I would have ended up here anyway. This is where I'm meant to be.
Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:
Baking In A Tornado
Stacy Sews and Schools
The Bergham’s Life Chronicles
Spatulas on Parade
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
Someone Else’s Genius
Confessions of a part-time working mom
Southern Belle Charm
Searching for Sanity
Sparkly Poetic Weirdo
Small Talk Mama