02 June 2008

At First Sight

There are times I wonder "what if". You could go through your life second guessing every decision you ever make. I've never been one of those people. Once I decide to do something, I usually go for it and don't look back. There are times though when I think about "what if", especially on my birthday.

For example, what if I hadn't gone to Fairfield? What if I had stayed home and gone to URI or RIC. I'd have no loans, that's for sure. I don't think I would be doing what I am doing now. Working in academia is a direct result of my working in residence life while I was an undergrad - living on campus, having Missy and Henry as mentors. I'm sure I would have found a niche at URI or RIC, but I don't think it would have been the same one. I probably would have a very different career, very different friends, and I probably would still be in New England. I probably would not have gone to Ohio State for grad school and therefore missed out on the joy and the excitement that is Big 10 football.

What if I hadn't been so shy around people? What if I hadn't run away from what scared me? Yes, I'm talking about one particular person and one particular relationship, and only they would know of what I speak right now. I don't look back on any of my relationships with regret. I do look back on the ones that weren't and wonder if I made the right choice. I was younger then (I won't say how much younger), but there was one. One in particular that I let go of. It wasn't the one I never said anything to until it was too late. No, it was one that I knew at first sight was going to be special. You know, the kind of meeting where you just look at each other and for a moment everything stops. I'm pretty sure he felt the same way. But there were obstacles and I was so so shy and pretty sheltered. We danced around it for what seemed like an eternity. We were never in the same place at the same time. When we finally got there, I was at a loss what to do next and I walked away. There are days I wish I hadn't and wonder what I would be like today as a person if I stayed. I don't know that we'd be together, but I feel like I would know myself even better. That's the kind of person he was - he let me question everything and I learned more from him than any other person.

That's my biggest "what if". That, and what if I hadn't turned down studying in Russia, but that's a story for another day.

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