Have you ever wondered to yourself, “what if I did this differently?” or “what if I’d made this decision instead of that decision?” People are quick to hit you with the “everything happens for a reason”comment, and while I do agree that this statement is VERY true, lets pretend that everything DIDN’T happen for a reason, and lets actually ponder the “what if”. Since I don’t know of anyone else’s life experiences but my own, I am going to go through a few of my own scenarios and question what if. Maybe at the end of it all, I will come to some type of clarity that will reassure me that things worked out the way they were meant to work out.
First Scenario: What if….I hadn’t been involved with a certain someone in high school? Would I have been dating someone else? Would I have been more focused on school work and excelled more in my studies? Would that have changed the group of people I hung around? Would I have lost my virginity in high school? All big “what ifs”….let’s think this through.
If I had been involved with someone else, it could have been something that lasted a long time; possibly outside of high school. Had it been someone else, I wouldn’t have had to endure physical and emotional abuse. I wouldn’t have known what that experience was like and I may be a different person today. If I had been with another person, maybe I could have skipped that trip to the adolescent psych ward, because I threatened to kill myself, as a result of the way this person treated me. Had I not lost my virginity in high school, I could have waited until marriage, like I wanted to, and not have been forced into doing something I wasn’t exactly comfortable doing. AND that would not have been the beginning of a very promiscuous young adulthood. Had I focused more on school and not chased this stupid boy, I could have fulfilled the requirements needed for the scholarship I was awarded to attend any HBCU of my choice. Oh well…..
Positives of life happening the way it did: I have learned to be strong and face adversity. I have learned not to listen to what others say/think about me. I have learned to make better decisions, because you can miss wonderful opportunities chasing the wrong things. I have also learned how to raise my son properly so he treats females the exact opposite of how his mother was treated.
Second Scenario: What if….I had finished my degree in Biology/Pre-Med at Virginia Commonwealth University? What if I didn’t work at a bar while I was in school? What if I hadn’t left Richmond? What if I hadn’t gone back to the place where I was constantly finding myself in trouble?
If I had finished pursuing my degree, I’m sure at this juncture in my life I would be done with med school. I would be in residency at some prestigious hospital and I would be making an income that would allow me to live comfortably…and beyond. I would have met a ton of amazing people and helped care for many people along my journey and I would be proud to hear my parents say they have a daughter who is a DOCTOR, and actually went out and made something of herself. And I’d be able to help them so they wouldn’t have to worry about anything.
Positives of life happening the way it did: I was able to go back home and become passionate about something else….teaching. I learned a lot about the adolescent mind. It helped mold me as a mother. I met a lot of lifelong friends and I experienced the chance to watch some amazing children grow from 5-year olds to now pre-teens. Also, going back home allowed me to meet my sons father. And without meeting him, I would not have had my son. Had my original plan panned out, Jalen wouldn’t have been in the cards for a few more years down the line. Which leads me to my third and final scenario.
Third Scenario: What if….my son’s father and I had never broken up? What if I hadn’t cheated on him before we had our son? What if I hadn’t let my needs and doubts of commitment get in the way of having a real relationship? What if I had just let him love me instead of acting like I knew what was best?
If my son’s father and I had never broken up, I would have never stumbled into other toxic relationships. We would probably be married and would have had more children (something I have been craving). We would have our own house somewhere and I would still be in Maryland. I would have finally committed to someone and put someone else’s needs before my own. I would have FINALLY NOT let the good guy get away. I would have realized it was good for me and I would have had the family I’ve been longing for.
Positives of life happening the way it did: I was able to escape everything that had been suffocating me and I was able to relocate and “find” myself. I was able to see my son’s father’s true colors before it was too late. I was able to realize that although he was a good guy, he didn’t make me feel good about myself, and I deserved better than that. I was able to find my self-worth. And above all else, not being with him and having to stand and fight on my own as a single mother made me realize just how powerful I am. Just when I thought I couldn’t do anymore, I surprise myself!
So, while the “WHAT IFS” are good to think about and look back on, would the what ifs really have made my life seem fulfilled? Would I really be happy with the what ifs? After going through these scenarios, I’m glad things ended up the way they did. I don’t think I would have been happily married at such a young age and to a man who may have been great, but talked down to me often. Waiting for marriage has allowed me to understand myself so I can better understand my future partner. It has allowed me to find my own independence and not depend on someone else. It allowed me to grow so that I can be prepared for my husband.
I would have finished medical school and became a doctor, but would I be happy in that career, or would I have just been looking at the salary and not the joy of doing something I am passionate about? Although things could have been a lot different, and perhaps better than they are now, there is always a silver lining. What I will say is that I am happy with the way life currently is and with the direction it is headed in . Great things will be happening and I can’t wait to move past the “What ifs” and into the “Finally! This is It”. This is what I’ve been waiting on.