30-day Writing Challenge – Day 11

Something you always think “What if…” about.

One of my traits is that I tend to think things through. And by think things through, if I’m feeling anxious or stressed or nervous, I will think through possibilities until the end of time. It has been a major paralytic in my life, the way my brain will explore every possible course of action past its logical point of conclusion, and every sub-possibility along the way. In certain cases, like for planning contingencies when it comes down to a hike, it’s not always a bad thing. It can also really go sideways when dealing with matters of the heart and factors that are largely beyond my control, like other people’s feelings and actions in response to a given situation (see previous posts about fear, rejection, etc).

Even through all of that, I’ve long tried to live my life deliberately, and generally once I’ve set course, I let what happens happen. The universe abides, and I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without things going down the way they are. At the end of the day, I’m happy. I am in a growing relationship with myself, I have a wonderful family, I love and am loved, and I wouldn’t be at this point on my journey unless I made the decisions I did and committed to what I’m doing now.

I do have a list of some split points in my life where things could have gone hugely different. I don’t dwell on them, but certainly I can identify them as the places where my life could have changed course dramatically. First of these adult ones was when I made the (snap) decision to attend college. I was at the Kelowna School of the Arts’ summer program, hanging out with my new pal Ben Van Slyke and receiving instruction from Brad Turner when I casually mentioned I was going to take some time off and go to Boston the following year. Brad offered that there was a seat for me at Capilano College, and Ben said there was an audition opening in Vancouver for the army band. The option on that one was to just stay the course, live in Vernon, and continue my job working for the North Okanagan Community Development Corporation, where I’d gone from being a co-op student to being an employee, and they were willing to turn me into an IT professional at a time where the rise of the IT department was an exponential-growth field. I chose music instead.

Next one is a relationship-related one which I won’t delve into for respect of privacy for those involved, but I had to consciously make a decision whether or not to pursue a relationship, and going the other direction would have a radical change on my life.

I decided to pursue certain aspects of my career, and another huge split point came in early January, 2006. The war in Afghanistan was just starting up, and I was working as a clerk with the reserve Combat Engineer squadron in North Vancouver. The Brigade Superintendent Clerk called me, offering me a no-pre-deployment-training tour to Kandahar on Rotation 0 (usually the “hot” tour), and that I had 90 minutes to get back to him. I ended up not going, and know that the effects of that were that we ended up having a third child and I got a winning crack at the job I have today.

More and more of these kinds of split points have come up. I don’t dwell on them, because I’d rather make it feel like I have a sense of ownership in my life. They’re curious to look back on, but I can honestly say that I’m quite alright with where I’ve ended up.

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