When I finished high school at the end of 2003, I had the world at my feet. I was 17, fit, smart, and had opportunity knocking at my door. I had been accepted into university for 2004, and I also had the opportunity to travel to the UK to be with my first love. Well, I didn’t study, and I didn’t travel to the UK. Life had a different angle for me to try, but I do still wonder, what if.
What if I hadn’t let the financial constraints hold me back, and somehow found a way to study, and had fulfilled my dream of becoming a teacher? What if I had worked every job imaginable, taken out student loans, learnt the bus routes and taken the meal plan? What if I had fought with every fibre of my being, let nothing hold me back and had reached my potential? I dunno hey. What if?
What if I broke up with my boyfriend of just 3 months and moved to the UK with my first love at the beginning of 2004? He had offered me the ticket and accommodation; I just had to go over there and find work. He was willing to get me started in a foreign land, give me a friendly helping hand. What if I hadn’t followed my heart that was so full of new and excited love, and had decided to venture 1000’s of kilometers away, to start my life over? I dunno hey. What if?
What if I hadn’t moved back to my mom’s house after finishing high school? What if I’d stayed at my father’s. How would life had played out for me, in the more ‘affluent’ suburbs of life? I dunno hey. What if?
What if I had decided to accept that job at the lawyer’s firm in early 2004? So what if it didn’t offer medical aid; it was a step up in a career that I was truly interested in. What if I had listened to what I had wanted to do, instead of what others thought I should do? I dunno hey. What if?
What if my phantom pregnancy wasn’t a phantom pregnancy in February 2004? What if I was pregnant? Would I have been able to go ahead with the abortion that was being setup for me? I dunno hey. What if?
There are so many what if’s that swirl around in my head, but what good are what if’s? In my experience, they are just constant reminders of poor choices, immensely bad mistakes, or just generally not thinking at all.
I didn’t study, and I didn’t put in the effort to make it happen. I only have myself to blame for that. Yes, it didn’t help that my parents did not provide for my tertiary education, but that’s ok. In that, I have learnt a valuable lesson, and I won’t let my daughter have the choice made for her when it’s time for her to decide if she wants to study or not. I will make a plan; as her parent, if she wants to study further I will figure something out.
If I had broken up with my boyfriend of 3 months, to travel to the UK at the beginning of 2004, that man would now not be my husband, and I wouldn’t have my daughter. So I think I win on that choice.
If I had stayed at my father’s instead of moving back to my mom’s after finishing high school, I don’t think that L and I would have lasted very long, as my father’s house was really far away from my mom’s. So as per the point above, I think that was a good choice.
If I had accepted the job at the lawyer’s firm, I might be a lawyer today. However I wouldn’t have my husband and daughter, as the job was based some 80km from my mom’s house, and I inevitably would have moved back in with my father. So I think I win there too.
If my phantom pregnancy was an actual pregnancy, no. I don’t think that I would have gone through with the planned abortion. Yes, having a baby at 17/18 is not every girl’s dream, but that innocent life didn’t ask to be conceived. And the emotional damage that I believe can be left behind after an abortion, I think would have damaged me more than having a child at 18. So thank-you Mother Nature, for scaring the bejesus out of me, and for giving me a second chance.
This post may have sounded really selfish to begin with, and quite honestly you’re all lying to yourselves if you say that not even once in your life, you haven’t thought WHAT IF. But if I could go back and make different choices, well then, I wouldn’t be who I am today, or having the memories that define who I am. And most importantly of all, I wouldn’t have my daughter.
And life without my daughter, hurts too much to even think about.
I am who I am, because of the decisions and choices that I’ve made.
And I regret none of them.
These are just SOME of the memories that I have, all because I haven’t dawdled on WHAT IF.