choose your own adventure

I love a storyline with alternate realities. I love the act of re-framing a person’s story, placing them in a different context, or with a slightly altered history, to imagine various ways that their choices or culture have formed them. At the root, I’m curious to know what shapes a person, pondering nature versus nurture, and wondering “How did you end up exactly here?”

One way this plays out is in my head – I carry around alternate imagined versions of my life. Similar to the sitcom version of my life, these musings are entertaining and imaginative.

Like, what if I’d gone to a large University instead of my small liberal arts College?
(I would have been in an acapella group, obviously.)

Or, what if I’d ended up marrying my college boyfriend?
(I’d probably have Big Texas Hair by now. Oh my.)

What if I’d pursued journalism, or textile design, or learned how to drive a big rig?
(All career options that I researched while in college. The last one was a bit of a joke, but I totally could have made it work. The proposal was that my friend Kristin and I drive as a team, writing stories about our fish-out-of-water experience, and discover America for a few years until we figured out what was next. You know you’d read that novel.)

There are some bittersweet what ifs, obviously, that point to desires that haven’t yet been fulfilled. But most of the time, these questions affirm and enhance my contentment with the life I am living – like, I can’t even imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t moved to Virginia, because I love it here so fiercely.

Do you do this? What are some alternate versions of your life? (And am I the only one who has a clear picture of what my hair would look like in each of these realities? Because that is so strange to me.)

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