As a kid, I loved Choose Your Own Adventure books. I loved the idea that not only could I read the story, but I could affect the story by the choices I made. I used to carefully place bookmarks whenever there was a fork in the story so that I could go back and take each path. I always wanted to know what would have happened if I had made a different choice.
Recently I had the amazing opportunity to spend a month in Florence, Italy teaching a study abroad course. My family was able to join me and we had an incredible time. There was so much art, history, and science to experience… not to mention so much gelato to eat.
During our last week we came across an engraved paving stone with the words, “Every step I have taken in my life has led me here, now.” That phrase has stuck with me. It seems that far too often in my life I have become stuck in the “What if…” loop. I second guess various decisions in my life and wonder what would have happened if I had taken a different path. It’s the same mentality I had as a child reading Choose Your Own Adventure books, but life doesn’t allow you the luxury of flipping back a few pages just to find out what would have happened.
After seeing those words engraved in stone, I have tried to look at life a little differently. I regret mistakes I have made and people I have hurt, but when it comes to general life decisions I am trying to look forward, rather than behind. I have a wonderful life with so much to be thankful for. Each choice I have made has truly brought me to this point in life – and for that I am grateful.
So rather than thinking about what might have been, I am trying to focus on what is to come.