The past seven days, I have frequently felt like I am glimpsing an alternate reality, a universe parallel to my own.
I usually only feel that way when I’m traveling, so it was no surprise that I felt that way last weekend. I spent Friday through Monday in Florida, eating mint Oreos, cheering on the Orlando City Pride, and camping six feet from the Gulf of Mexico.
On Sunday morning, KB and I were sitting in a little, run-down diner on the coast, where everyone knew everyone else. I was eating chocolate chip pancakes and listening to our waitress talk to the older couple at the table next to us. (Like, an elbow length away kind of right next to us.)
“So you two are headed home today?”
“Yep, I guess we’ll see you next year.”
“Well, that’s sad. Did you at least win at Bingo last night?”
“Yes, we did!”
“Oh, good. You’re taking some money home, then.”
I felt like I was in a different world. A hometown, southern, backwoods world by the water, where snowbirds come into town for six months to play bingo and eat biscuits and gravy while heckling their favorite waitress.
But the next day I left for Indy, and life continued as normal for about ten minutes.
(Fast forward ten minutes.)
Due to the car accident from my last post, and a strange set of circumstances that involved making friends with a middle-aged woman in order to calm her down enough so she didn’t kill us both, and so I can to continue my “normal” life, I’m driving this until Monday:
Definitely not normal for me.
But, as I drove alone to Indiana State (also not normal) to meet with students I found myself wondering: Is this what I would drive if I had chosen a more lucrative career path? What if I had been born with more passion for music, instead of just thinking it’s a great bonus in life? What would I drive if I were a world-renowned violinist? Where would I live?
And even beyond that, would I behave differently? Be more serious, or more flirtatious? Would I care as much about God and people’s souls?
I’ve allowed myself to explore these thoughts, explore the possibilities. I know I only have one life, one reality. But what if I took the different pieces of who I could have been and fit them into this life? What would I want to take from my parallel universe of being a high-powered psychologist that charges $150/hour? What would I want to keep from my life as a member of the Peace Corps?
What am I missing in those alternate realities that I could have now and how can I make them happen?
Do you ever think about what could be? What would you keep from those possible realities?