Ever wonder what it would be like if you weren’t where you are now?
Now I’m not talking about the old “Oh, whoa is me, what would it have been like if I had never been born?” line. I don’t buy that. My folks made me, I’m here and damn it, I like that I’m here. I just mean, paths you took in life and the consequences that came from those decisions.
For example, it was a 10th grade English teacher who told me I should follow writing as he thought I had the talent to be a good newspaper writer. Imagine if he hadn’t told me that and I didn’t buy into it? Where would I have gone or done? Would I be working on a road crew now? In some office? Fixing cars? Seriously, it’s interesting to look back.
Since that day, here’s what happened to me:
I started working for a weekly in 12th grade. I stayed with them for like nine years. During that time, I slacked off, but got my Associate’s degree and thought I was set for life. No need for anything else, right? Ha!
In 1999, I went back to school to Lock Haven. A friend from up here was going back to school too and went to Lock Haven, so we roomed together. Because he wasn’t getting in too many other places (he actually did some summer thing at Lock Haven just to get Lock Haven), I went there because it was the security of knowing someone (although I never saw him there cause he shacked up with a chick and always stayed in her room because he knew I couldn’t stand her). I had originally planned to apply to Rhode Island, Delaware and a couple other schools more south. But I didn’t. I went to Lock Haven.
Think of the spiral effect if I had, indeed, gone to say, Rhode Island.
On our board, DMac wouldn’t be a moderator and probably wouldn’t even be a member because — how the hell would he have found us? Same with metal — being DMac got him here. It’s odd in that way where little parts of people’s lives can change — even if it’s not going to a little website here and there — by your decisions.
I look at it this way. Every path I’ve taken has somehow done something in someone else’s life. As it is with everyone else.
If I had gone right on to a four-year program after getting my associate’s, who knows if I ever would have gone on for my Masters. Who knows if I would have been in newspapers. And if I was, who knows if I would have ever ended up back in my home area.
Hell, after getting my Masters, if I hadn’t taken the advice of a friend who was working at the paper I’m at now and called the SE, I wouldn’t have started stringing. And I wouldn’t have had the in to get the job I have now. By not doing that, I wouldn’t know some of the people I know now.
In turn, small differences could have been made to those people’s lives — whether small or big.
I had a tough day at work yesterday. So on the way home, to let my thoughts run, I was thinking about this. It’s kind of crazy how there’s like a spiral effect on every move you make. One little decision could impact dozens or hundreds of people. It’s nuts.
I just wonder if my path had been different in high school — what would I have done? If my grades had been better and if I applied to some good colleges out of high school and the like. What path would I have done? A different career? Different friends? Hell, would I have even created HooHaaDOTcom?
My one thing is to always have no regrets. I only regret a couple things in this world — two are athletic, one is a girl. That’s as far as I’ll go with that as those, in my mind, are for my thoughts.
And while I don’t regret the path I’ve taken in my life, I look back and wonder where I would be if I went to the left instead of the right. Would I be in a better situation I’m in now? More money? Wife and kids? Or would I be worse? Living in a halfway house or in rehab? I mean, seriously, as easily as it is to look back and say ‘Man, I could be rich now if I did this…” you could also say, “Man, I could be dead now if I went this way…”
It’s a two-way street when you’re thinking about the directions you chose in life. But, the path you take is usually one way. However, it’s interesting to look back and wonder.