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Friday, June 17, 2011

Parallel Lives

My post about what I wish I had done before Evan generated a conversation with a friend of mine about the paths we choose in life. We talked about how everyone wishes they had done something (or many things) differently - be it using their time more wisely, not jacking around in high school, not getting married so young, or any number of things.

BUT, just because someone has wistful thoughts about their past, does not mean they don't love their life the way it is now. We all make decisions in our life that lead us down a certain path. Even though I hated my PhD experience, if I hadn't moved here to pursue it I would have never met DH. All of our past experiences - good and bad - make us into the people we are today.

It's normal to wonder about "what if" - what if I took that job in Germany? What if I waited to have kids? What if I pursued my love of baking? - while still being completely happy with the life we have.

My very wise friend ended our conversation by saying: "You can never do something new without giving up something old."

So true. I guess that's why change (especially a big one) is so difficult.

As I look back at our life before Evan, I do wish we had done things differently and taken more advantage of the time we had. But, I am so happy we "gave up" those things in order to have him in our lives. Nothing --- not an expensive dinner, a quiet hour with a book, or a trip to Australia --- can cheer me up after a tough day more than seeing him smile or hearing his sweet laugh.

For an amazing article about the lives we leave behind, go read this Dear Sugar post.