I’ve been thinking a lot this week about life, and my expectations for it. I think about all the things I’ve done, and how much I feel like I’ve slowed down. How much I’ve “grown up”. I’ve got a grown-up job, a husband, a car, and a house. I’ve got stability. Hell, I have back problems. When did this happen? I remember at times during my adolescence thinking that there was no way I’d ever make it this far. I didn’t plan for the future, because I didn’t think I had one. Now, I look around at my life and I almost can’t believe it’s real.
I’ve made a lot of choices in my life to get me here. Some of them were probably bad decisions, but truthfully, I don’t regret a single one, as they’ve all led me to this moment. I imagine, sometimes, what my life would have been like if I’d made different ones. If I’d dated other people, or gone to different schools. If I hadn’t applied to my abroad program on a whim I wouldn’t have met my ex — and I never would have met my husband. If I hadn’t gone to culinary school, I probably wouldn’t have been free to move to Ottawa for the job I accepted here, as I’d be in graduate school, or working a job in Toronto.
Then again, what if I hadn’t met Husband, and had stayed in Toronto, or at Queen’s. Maybe I’d have gotten my PhD, or perhaps had worked as a barista somewhere until I finished my first book. All the different paths my life could have taken, if I’d made just one different decision.
Very butterfly effect, I know.
One of my life goals is to never regret anything, even if it doesn’t turn out the way I expect, and to make decisions that future me will look back on and know that it was the best decision at the time. Now that my decisions feel more deliberate rather than flighty (as I am wont to be) I feel like I have more of a responsibility to myself to make good decisions, and I’m not sure I like that. Good decisions are safe decisions, but they’re not always the right ones. I don’t want to be the person that dies at 95 but only lives until they’re 22.
I’m turning 26 this year (?!), which means, statistically, my life is probably at least a quarter done. That’s still three whole quarters left to go, and I want to enjoy them. I want to create a legacy for myself that I can look back on when my body and mind are failing, and say, “I did that.” I want to see my name in print, I want to show my friends I love them, and I want to be the very best I can possibly be.
It’s a tall order, but time passes anyways, so I might as well do something with it.