A friend recently broke up with her boyfriend of four years, because of what if. What if, she said, it didn’t work out? What if her ex-boyfriend who was still in her life was still the one for her? What if she found out a little too late that she’d made the biggest mistake of her life?
“What if you’re making the biggest mistake of your life right now?” I asked.
She was silent for a minute and then she began talking again, volubly, about how it did not work that way at all. She had a feeling, and well, as she’d said before, what if.
I think that all too often there are too many what ifs, and there is a moment when it just needs to stop. Whenever I find myself thinking regretfully of my past, perhaps a mistake made or a relationship lost, and I think to myself, well what if, I stop myself. It is what it is. What happened, happened. What is the point of a what if? What is the point of wondering what would have happened IF ONLY your life had taken a different turn, or if you had been a different person? What if what you want is actually happening on an alternate but very parallel universe, and has nothing to do with life as YOU know it?
There is no room for regret in my life. I am too busy with today. If I have made a mistake, then it is done. If I realise now that it is a mistake, then I have learned. If I realise now that what happened was the best thing that could ever have happened to me, even if I failed to see it back then, then I have still learned.
There is no room for a what if. There is only today.
So that is what I try to tell my friend, although I am not sure she gets it. Sometimes, it does not matter which way you go. All you have to do is go.