Every so often, I catch what could have been my life out the corner of my eye. What if NC Agricultural and Technical State University had freshman girl housing and I didn’t end up attending East Carolina University. Would my life had been so different if I accepted that job offer in Texas in 2005 when it seems the universe aligned to give me an out of a failing relationship? Maybe I should have accepted the corporate relocation offer and moved to St. Louis as part of the merger deal. Could have, should have, would have- if they were bricks, I would have a mansion.
Instead, I ended up going to a college where a freshman indiscretion tainted my name among certain groups long after I received my degree. I stayed in a romantic situation that ended up with me enduring a humiliating set of circumstances so profound it caused me to experience panic attacks in public places. Because I choose not to take the relocation offer, I spent months scrambling to find a job before it was time to turn off the lights at a place on the losing end of a corporate buyout.
Still when I look clearly at my life, I realize it is possibly better than what it would have been. I received a great education at East Carolina for not too shabby of a price. Twenty years after graduation my alma mater showed me love on the publication of my second book-…. Would I have experienced the same as an Aggie?
The relationship that had its hellish moments also included sweet touches. Hindsight being better than laser eye surgery, I know had I moved to Texas I probably would have find myself in a similar situation because I had not learned to value and love myself as I did others.
Even though it was stressful toward the end, I did find another job before my old job ended. In fact, I walked out of my old job on March 31 in Charlotte, NC and walked into my new job in Raleigh, NC on April 1. Seven years later my current gig allows me the freedom to take care of family matters, the security of a steady paycheck, and frankly no one gets days off like a government worker.
I know regret is something we should not subscribe to in life. I grew up in the Baptist faith hearing the story of Lot’s wife. She looked back when fleeing Sodom with her family despite angels telling them to not cast their gaze upon where they
left. Her failure to cooperate with the directive resulted in her becoming a pillar of salt. In terms of Biblical role models, the unnamed matriarch isn’t the best to emulate.
On a conscious level, I know looking back and wondering what could have been is pointless. I am not Cher, I can’t turn back time. Still, sometimes my mind wanders and wonders.
Whenever my mind turns to what could have been I drift along for a minute and imagine; then I focus on the here and now. The choices I made in life, fair or foul, brought me to this point. College educated, employed, and engaged to a wonderful woman and in the community around me. Forty-five years after touching down in North Carolina in my mother’s arms, I am still a North Carolina resident.
The choices I could have made but didn’t put me in the position to be a published author, meet people who opened my mind to so many different ways of seeing life, and grow as a person. My missteps made me the woman I am and I have no choice but to move forward along the path set before me. There will always be things in my peripheral to cause me a wee bit of distraction. That okay just as long as I don’t forget I have more miles to go.