Do you ever wish that you could go back in time to when you made an important decision and make a different decision? Do you wonder what your life would be like had you chosen to go the other path at that point in time? Usually this is just a theoretical question that one can just dream about and imagine the different possibilities. But there I was. I was face to face with…me. The old me. The “me” who I used to be exactly one year ago. Only, it wasn’t me, it was someone in the exact same position that I was in. So exact that it was scary. So many times I have wondered if I made the right choice, but I never asked myself, “If I could do it over, would I pick this again?” Knowing what I know now, would I still choose what I chose then, or would I have picked something else? Apparently this happens to me a lot.
I looked at this girl, and I felt responsible for her decision. I could tell her exactly where her choice would lead. If I could do it over, would I do it the same way? Suddenly, I needed to know, and not just wonder, because I needed to tell her. Part of me wanted to whisper, “Be stronger than I was, be better than I was, don’t let go of your dreams.” But part of me wanted to tell her, “Don’t take the risk, it’s not worth it, you’ll end up regretting it.” I can’t go back in time, and I will never know what things could have been like. I feel like it’s Hashem sending me a message (if you’ve read this blog enough then by now you know that I think everything is Hashem sending me a message :D). The message is, “You aren’t happy with your choice? Would you really have chosen the other option? Probably not. Therefore, stop blaming yourself, maybe you should just be happy.”
The bottom line is that although this girl’s situation was remarkably similar to mine, so much that it was uncanny, it will never be exactly mine, and I’ll never know how things could have been. And once you’ve made a decision that can’t be made, you can’t look back and waste energy on wondering “what if.” You gotta deal with it and learn for the future. Even though this happened before, and I said “that was me,” this time, it was even closer to me. I didn’t tell her what to do, because I don’t know what I would do if I had to make the decision again. I probably would have made the same choice that I made, even though it might not have been the right choice. I hope that whatever choice she makes, it works out for her for the best and that she doesn’t regret it.
I started this post a while ago, and it’s a good thing I never got around to posting it, because now I can share with you the end of the story. The girl did not make the decision that I made, and when I found out, I was filled with happiness. “Yes!” I thought smiling, “She made the choice that I was too scared to make.” But at the same time, I was also filled with a sense that I made the right choice for me at the time, and she’s not me. I realized that if I could do it over, I would do it the exact same way. And knowing that is a really great feeling. Despite the fact that my decision came with a ton of negative aspects, and that making the same choice involved some of the most difficult times for me, I would suffer those things again if I had to, because you know what? That’s life. No matter what I chose there would be some pain involved. Life is not painless, and as much as we want it to be, we wouldn’t grow without that pain.
Food for thought: Are there any choices that you would decide differently if you could do them over?