Should I consider myself lucky having made the choices I have to get to this point in my life? Have I been fortunate, smart and logical? Is that really what has gotten me here? Or could it be that I am so mistake prone and nearly incapable of making the correct decision that I have practically stumbled my way through life? Never enough to actually die, but I've never really lived either. Don’t get me wrong here, I am absolutely grateful for my life and what I have due to the fact that I exist. But I often wonder what would my life be like if I had made different choices. What if I had done this? What if I had done that?
Had my parents not been so strict when I was growing up this might have allowed me to get out and see the world more, do more things and meet more people. What if growing up I actually had a friend, any friend? That one friend I still sometimes yearn for now that I am an adult? Most of the kids I grew up with did not have parents nearly as strict as mine, so while they were hanging out long after the street lights had come on I was in the house missing out on those connections. That accelerated growing up. Girls, experimentation, all the youthful rebellion. Sure I rebelled, but mostly against curfew. The world never cared for such petty things. I didn’t rebel in the way I always thought of it. Against authority, all the rules and restrictions parents and teachers at the time had set for us. I was stuck in my room wondering. What if I was out there with all of them?
What if I had started smoking marijuana before high school like my classmates had? What if as a result of this I never made it out of the ninth grade as many of them did not? Always seemed fun to me, cutting class and having fun. Not like I was getting good grades then anyway. When you are considered a “nerd” or “uncool” you tend to spend most of your junior and high school years running from bullies and dodging insults and ridicule. Oh, and a lot of crying. What if I was cool? Would that have changed my early formative years any? What if I never cared about what they said or how they felt and thought about me and just loved the skin that I was in and flourished in spite of all their bullshit? Maybe I would not be such a cynic today when it comes to friendships, relationships, and people in general.
If I dropped out like most of them I could have been left to make it in the streets to dabble in vices. Definitely would have made and had more money than I did in my mostly lint filled pockets back then. None of them seem to be too concerned with science, math, and history as I watched them mix chemicals for drug profit, count their wads of money, and ironically know the dead president of each monetary denomination by heart, even coins. Kids that never read a book yet could school you on the aspects of grams, kilos, and money investment better than Bill Nye and Warren Buffet ever could. What if that had been me? They were the desirable ones as far as I could see from all the attention and recognition they were receiving from just about anyone and everyone they encountered. Nice cars, pretty girls, not a care in the world. Seems like a pretty nice life to me. Would my life be what it is now had I experienced that?
I never really had much money, then or now. Never got much attention from anyone either unless my name just happened to be mentioned. Never had a car growing up. Never had a girlfriend until I was over 21. Hell I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 18. If you were to ask me, that is, if you ask. I’d tell you the decisions I have made over the course of my days caused me to be late for just about everything that most kids growing up experience right on time. This even includes the small stuff such as getting a driver’s license at sixteen. What if I was a “normal” teenager, a social butterfly? Looking back, I was mostly a brown M&M in an earth sized jar full of brown M&M’s. A perpetual “hey…who are you again?” in a haystack.
Would I have a conceived a child by now if I had had sex when everybody else was having it? Would I have been more prepared and experienced when I finally did get that girlfriend, leaving me better equipped to deal with all the intricacies that make up a woman, or the eventual heartbreak? What if I had decided to be with someone else instead of being with Candy? Would things have been better or worse? Had Candy never happened, or happened to a better decision making Gardell, would that have caused me to never have met Jessica? My first real "true love." What if my insecurities never surfaced because I was always confident, having had that great and fulfilled childhood, with no bullying, lots of money, and all the friends that I “what if’d” about earlier? Maybe that same confidence would have led to make better choices and exhibit a different behavior, instead of the insecurities that drove a wedge between me and Jessica which only segued to other problems that inevitably doom a relationship.
If I had not experienced the ultimate heartbreak after Jessica, meeting Ashley would have been the experience and relationship it was supposed to have been. What if my skin was thicker and my conscience weaker? Heartbreak would have been merely a word to me instead of the actual demise it was…the first time. Then, Ashley and I would have floated through to eternity, as opposed to having our wings clipped in impermanence. Although the mistakes that end a relationship are usually mutually made. I cannot help but question my choices. For as long as I can remember I always felt as though I am constantly choosing the wrong path, the wrong journey, the wrong job, the wrong food, the wrong cable company, socks, toothpaste, you name it. What if I hadn’t?