This is a toughy of a question. I generally try to think of life without regret. Regret is no good for anyone, which means I spend very little time thinking about what if, what if is very much in the past. However there are a number of situations that when I consider what if, they make me appreciate that without doubt throughout my life there has been a greater force steering me in the right direction. So, I guess my what if question would start all those years ago in Scotland, what if my Dad had never discovered where about’s we were? What if cuddling up against my Dad on that long, long coach trip home had never become a memory. How different would I be now? Religion (Catholic) would without doubt be a driving force in my character, my accent would be harsh and coldness would be the only weather I knew! What if people’s decisions had been different, I could have known what life in the system was like, what if sacrifices hadn’t been made, I would have known a deep and resentful loneliness.
What if none of this happened, what if I had never misbehaved as a teenager, never known alcohol, never kissed a boy till marriage, never lifted my head up high enough to see the world. Would I still have become a poet? What would I write about? Would my words be an educated form of letters strung together by the grey and glued to the page with innocence? Where would my passion be? My desire to live? What if I had never discovered the joys of odd socks? Or the liberation of living a life where by my aim is to impress no one but myself?
I don’t want a life of what if’s. Those days have passed and become memories. It is always our choice how we recall the days gone and if we are in a constant state of what if then we are living in the past, one toe in the future filled with dread and fear. That is no life for anyone.
Karen Hayward ©2015.