But nonetheless, we humans do it. Once in awhile, it can be briefly reviewed versus dwelling on it. These are not to be regretted, just an interesting reflection upon life. Here's mine--or the one's I can remember:
At 8 years old, my father brought me to this guy who was a vocal coach. I actively decided not to do it. I had just finished a specialized kiddie drama class and I had a ball. But being reminded of piano practice was not my favorite thing when I wanted to play outside. What if...
At 10 years old, I actively decided to STOP taking Ballet. How I could make that decision is beyond me. I liked Ballet, but I felt alienated, like most of my little life at that time. It was after I performed in the Nutcracker Suite with the San Diego Ballet. Apparently, I liked ballet. So, what if I continued to take ballet? Because at that time, I started attending the School of Creative and Performing Arts, and I would have been a triple threat for performing...
At 14 years old, I switched from the School of Creative and Performing Arts to my local high school, Patrick Henry. Making friends was very hard for me. No one was ready for my odd-ball behavior. Then my mental health condition really kicked in. I was given the opportunity to transition into a powerhouse private school, like Bishop's Academy or to go to school in another city: What if...
At 17 years old, I was with my family for a family celebration, I think Father's Day. I had just gotten accepted to Spelman College. There was a buffet and I was a major pig. But some ladies kept looking at me. Then they asked my mother about me and that she represents young women into major pageants, something I was very much interested in and she asked me if I would like to run for pageants. My mother intervened and said I've been accepted to Spelman and I will be going to Atlanta... What if...
At 20 years old, I was harangue by a guy I did not like and he raped me. But I was immobilized to say anything. I wasn't going to say anymore. But I told my friend and she was talked out of kicking his natural behind and was told lies about me. I was more fearful of making a fool of myself and allowing myself to get in that predicament. So, I stayed silent. What if I spoke up...
At 20 years old, I had wanted to join this group in college and they rejected me again. I fought back because I wanted to know if there was a breach in confidentiality. Later I found out there wasn't a breach. What if I did nothing...
At 23 years old, I was told to show up to this casting call by this crazy guy who liked me. I was going to go after church. So here I was in my church dress, overweight, and tired and I take a bullisht picture, which I crumple up and the camera man had to act hard against me. That was when I decided to quit my dreams of making it into the big screen and pursue science. I hate being treated like I was dumb. What if I stayed...
There are plenty more, but every now and then I get into:
- what if I didn't leave San Diego, CA after graduating from my Ph.D. program?
- what if I hadn't fainted at UT Southwestern in 2003?
- What if my boss in Dallas, TX stayed and chose not to relocate to Utah?
- What if I refused to meet my husband who pointedly stated he did not want children?
- What if I refused to marry my husband--let him go like the other men who I let play me?
- What if I called my family in Daytona Beach, Florida from my husband's mother's house in Apopka, Florida after a huge disagreement with his mother, twice?
- What if I stayed in a lunatic fringe job in 2007, to be called mentally unstable and incompetent and morbidly obese due to the stress?
- What if I did not tell a huge group of women locally to go stick it where the sun doesn't shine because I was getting accused of silliness?
- What if I didn't choose to get a serious surgery in the summer of 2008?
- What if I was just compliant to be doormatted, stomped on by everyone, but considered sweet and loving by everyone?
- What if I did not refrain from being played by some people I trusted?
What if, what if, what if?
Welp, I know I have actively made decisions, so without much thought put into it. I took a leap of faith and trusted. Many times I crapped out. But the recent choices I have made are adult choices and acts of faith. I surrendered all that I am. I have come to the conclusion that once I make a decision, I live that decision. I cannot say I don't think "What ifs", but I can say that I work hard to not dwell on the past, because I cannot change them.'
Ironically, no matter what direction my life would have taken, I think that some aspects of time in life are immutable and I will be exactly where I am, today. Maybe in parallel universes, my world could be different. But I am in the best of all possible worlds for me. And I am where I am today because of making these choices. I would not be Dr. Gina if I did not make these choices. It is me. Measuring my life as the totality of my experiences gives that muy caliente flavor of me.
These "what ifs" help me predict some aspects of my future, particularly, not dooming myself to repeat past heinous mistakes. But, these days, I see this as it could have happened this way, but I choose to do it another way... I am more egalitarian about it. Not everything will feel well when I am suffering though it. But I have a faith in God, and while grounded in Christianity, God gives me what I can handle. Right now, what I am going through is practice for something greater. And I need to have faith that what it is I am doing is for the greater common good, which is online mental health and wellness for diverse people.
This blog is only a smidgen of all that I am. So, I will be judged unfairly. But like someone on Twitter told me, I am NOT my diagnosis! I am so much more than mine. And I am ARIAFYA: Zeal, Enthusiasm, Eagerness, Initiative, Spirit, Keenness, Inventiveness, Health, Well-Being, Strength, Vigor, and Power!