Spent a lovely afternoon with friends from years gone by. Some I hadn't seen for decades. It was wonderful just to sit around the table and share stories of times when we were all together planning to conquer our futures.
Learning that through the years our paths had almost crossed numerous times was the most interesting part. One friend had arrived in Edmonton just days before I moved to British Columbia. Another had been living in North Vancouver while I was just south of the city.
Through the luncheon, I kept hearing "if only I had done ____ instead of ______, things would have been so much different" or "if I had gone (here) instead of (there)". I was surprised at the sounds of regrets I heard in their voices at times.
They all seemed happy with where they were in their lives today. Happy with their families and who their children had grown up into. Proud of where life had brought them. I am sure there were things that were of a darker nature that were not mentioned. Shadows that clouded chapters of their lives.
An afternoon with old friends is not the place to relive dark chapters and sadness. It is always a time to shine, share the sunshine and laugh with the people who you started your adventure with.
Afterward, I kept thinking of the "if only's" I had heard. It got me thinking about my own "if only's". Choices I had made and what would have happened if I had taken another path.
I stopped and thought about what I have and where I am. I thought about what I wouldn't have if I had done somethings differently. Would I have my children? Would I have been able to spend those last few years of my Mother's life with her?
I like where I am right now. Taking time to look back there were a lot of "Y"s in the path but I chose my path, at the time, and arrived where I am. What if's serve no actual purpose, except to create regrets. If I had taken other paths, I would not be here right now, or maybe I would be?
So, how would you answer the "what if I had _________" question? Do you regret the paths you have taken? Do you like who you are right now?
If you don't like where you are, or who you are, what are you going to do to change? Looking back into the shadows of the past won't help. Go forward into the sunlight and make your future bright.