Do you remember that movie?
Just in case, here’s a quick synopsis of the 1998 flick from the Miramax website:
A young woman’s love life and career both hinge, unknown to her, on whether or not she catches a morning train back to her apartment. Two wholly different universes unfold about alternate realities, the reliability of subway schedules and the role fate plays in shaping random lives.
There has always been something just a little magical to me about the fact that one tiny decision or something as small as dropping an earring can literally change your entire life.
I’ve always been way too introspective for my own good, and this phenomenon sometimes known as the Butterfly Effect has done nothing to help that. I look back on my life and play through a million different choices – big and small – and how my life could be completely different had things gone a different way.
What if I had auditioned for that performing arts high school? Would I still find myself in New York? Would I be pursuing a career in music or theater?
What if I had broken up with that boyfriend when I first thought I should? Would I have met someone else then and ended up married to them?
What if I had never left Orlando or my job at Disney? What if I finished that book I started? What if I had ordered pizza for lunch?
It. Never. Ends.
But I think what I love most about that movie, and I believe life in general, is that [SPOILER ALERT] regardless of the path you end up taking, you always ended up right where you’re supposed to be.
I don’t think I’ll ever stop overthinking my choices, making lists, and doing endless research…but there’s so much comfort in knowing that whatever good or bad decisions I make or whichever roundabout way it takes to get there, I’ll always somehow find my way to where I’m meant to be.
For me, that means that right now I’m lucky enough to be married to my husband and have a really cool preschooler and live in a great apartment and have a job that means something to me. So, while going back and replaying life’s big (and not-so-big) decisions is sometimes fun and sometimes stressful, it’s important to enjoy where you are and never dwell on what might have been…because, you know, it’s wasn’t.
What choices have you made that had potentially life-altering consequences?
HINT: They all did.