Who could we have been (life changing moments)

In the movie Sliding Doors, we see the parallel lives that could have played out for the main character, depending on whether she catches the train or not. I sometimes catch myself thinking about the alternative lives I could have lived, had I not changed my course.

In these photos, my life path felt pretty set, I was a teacher. It wasn't just my career choice, or job, it really felt like it formed part of who I really was. It suited my personality perfectly, and I enjoyed it. Although it is no doubt an extremely challenging and demanding job, I didn't find it stressful as such. It felt right for me, and the path ahead was clear.

Then, slowly, slowly, I started to feel it wasn't, and I jumped ship. The certainty that I'd initially loved about teaching as a career suddenly felt claustrophobic and limiting.

I think about the alternative me, still teaching, and who she would have been.

Similarly, I often wonder who I would have become had my Dad not died suddenly when I was 15.

If he'd been alive, he would have been 59 today. He was a mere 42 when he died. That feels so young now that I'm just ten years younger than that. 

8 months after he died, I wrote in my diary that I would now never fulfil my potential. The grief was too heavy, and I started missing school to wander about on my own. My exams were happening, and I just had no focus. If he hadn't had died, would the alternative me have achieved more academically? That sounds like I did badly at school, I didn't, and I eventually did A levels and university, but what potential was lost along the way? 

Would I have been a lesser or weaker person if I hadn't survived grief? I'd even be known by a different name had my Dad lived, as I changed my name my deed poll a few months after he died. Would the alternative me, with a father be very different to the one I became?

 

Happy Birthday Dad