Day 27: Sliding door moments: pick one or two moments from your life that could have drastically changed the course of your life.
I’ve been looking forward to this prompt for a while but when I sat down to write tonight, it was actually really hard to pick just one or two moments. I’ve often thought about this question in relation to my smoking. But the thing is: all the time I could have started smoking regularly, I always picked to not start. And when I imagined my life and how it would be different, ultimately I think would have ended up exactly where I am now only with more exposure to carcinogens. The only difference possibly being I might still be vaping nicotine as perhaps I’d be used to being in withdrawal when I can’t smoke/use nicotine and wouldn’t remember things being different. So that sliding door moment, it turns out is actually pretty mundane despite the amount of the thought I gave it.
Another moment: My friends really wanted me to go to the same university as them, but I chose to go off on my own to another city. Basically, my life would be completely different. I’d have different friends, I wouldn’t have met my husband or some of my best friends. It is hard to even imagine. I think I might have still become a teacher at some point though.
Another moment: Not moving into the city when I was a teen, staying with the friends that I had known since elementary school. First, I would have remained a part of drama productions, something that I stopped doing when I moved to the city because I didn’t get any parts. I would have never played rugby and who know what I would have picked to go to school for after high school. A large part of why I chose to go into science was because of my biology teacher in High School.
I’d go on, but the more I think about it, while aspects of my life would have been drastically different, there are something things that appear to be really consistent about who I am that would have probably resulted in very similar things happening in different ways.
Like the smoking thing: it eventually happened in the city, I would have eventually tried it in the town I left. I guess a totally different sliding door that I have trouble actually imagining is: what if I had never tried smoking. So never taken that first puff at 16, never hung around with the smokers in the smoking car, attempting to inhale, never trying again and succeeding at the age of 17, never buying my own cigarettes at the age of 18. I think I can’t imagine it because I think it was going to happen eventually.
I feel the same about teaching. I fought becoming a teacher for so long but everything I loved doing involved teaching. So eventually my path brought me to teaching. Same with my interest in psychology. I’m not a counsellor, but now I do a job that combines my love of psychology with my love of teaching.
But then again, perhaps each change, changes parts of us resulting in completely different realities. My mind hurts just trying to think about it…
Meditation: Guided Awareness-for Obsessive Thoughts