What Ifs  7/21/2014
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As the stores gear up for back to school, it hit me how much of our lives are bound into beginnings and endings. For children, late summer or early fall marks the excitement of a new school year. For the farmers, it signals the end of a growing season and a time to recoup some of the energy spent on the planting and harvesting.

We all move to the inexorable wheel of the seasons, one into the other, beginning and ending only a calendar day apart. Our beginnings are immortalized with the birth of a child, a new job, even a bottle of wine we’ve never tried or the smile on a stranger’s face from across the room. We mark our endings with a diploma or retirement card, and sometimes the death of a relationship. The snapshots of our lives are all different and unique but hold a sameness. That party at the beach is the party in the backyard is the party on the city streets, and at each, we meet the one person who will start us on a new path to follow, which in itself is the end of the old road.

I’ve wondered sometimes about the paths I’ve followed, how if I had been six minutes later, or if I’d not said hello or accepted that one invitation, how my life would have been changed. But most of my beginnings have led to things wonderful and exciting. My children. A degree. New towns and cities to explore, new people to meet.

Some things I might have changed and some I wish had never happened, but each experience had molded me and honed me into the person I am, and for the most part, I’m satisfied with that woman. Most of my beginnings have turned out well, and most of my endings have been for the best. I’m looking forward to more of each.

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I always think about what ifs, but I don't linger on them as I believe choices made are what has made me... well me.
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