"If you knew how everything in your life was going to end, would you change anything?"
It's like that whole hindsight being 20/20 thing, only with knowledge ahead of time of what you're walking into. It's a hard one, because I believe that everything you go through makes you who you are. Bryce and I talked a lot about this -- we are the couple we are in part because we've had to go through so much together. You can go back even farther to the fact that had I not had a disastrous first marriage, I wouldn't have met Bryce at just the right time. I wouldn't have learned the lessons of that experience that make me a better person today. It might not have knocked my marble in just the right trajectory to become Bryce's wife and partner in a life that's beautiful, if messy (and really, whose life isn't to some extent?).
But at the same time, would it have changed things to know ahead of time that we would ultimately be horrifically unsuccessful with IVF? Would we have entered into the adoption process sooner, fresher, less beat-up-feeling?
It's sort of a question that pries itself into the what-if part of my brain. What-ifs are fairly useless, because you can't change anything and wondering what different trajectories might have done is wasted time, because they didn't go that way. However, this question is asked in the sense that it IS possible to see ahead, to have memories of events to come, and then to make decisions knowing what the trajectory is going to be. It could make each moment precious for knowing, or it could make you in a way responsible for outcomes that were inevitable once a certain choice was made.
I don't really believe in things being inevitable, so it's just brain food, thinking on this question for me, but it sure is interesting to think on the effects of our choices and experiences. Infertility was not a choice for me, but how I tackled it was. We made a zillion choices (and still make them) in our quest to build a family. Would I change anything? Or would changing something bring me to a different outcome than might have been otherwise possible? Like Bryce coming into my life at just the right moment through Match, is our specific Mystery Baby out there at the end of this gauntlet? What if there is no Mystery Baby at the end of all this? Would that realization change the way we moved through all this? I just don't know.
Which brings me to the next thinker.
"The world isn't your friend...it's not designed to go your way. All you can do is make the decision to muscle through and fight the trend."
This is from Today Will Be Different, by Maria Semple. I LOVED Where'd You Go, Bernadette, which was her last novel. It was funny, it was quirky, it was heartfelt. It's my go-to book recommendation. Today Will Be Different has some similarities, but seems a bit...darker. It's twisty, and I didn't altogether like the main character/narrator, but that's okay because I enjoy that sort of thing. But this quote stuck with me...something about it wedged its way into my noggin.
At first, it kind of seems super pessimistic. Well, to me it totally made sense. Although there are ways in which the world is my friend (um, BRYCE, our life together minus the absence, my job) there are ways in which it decidedly is not (anything having to do with procreation, the slow crawl of the adoption process). But then again, it's that second part that appeals to me.
The world isn't designed to be a fairy godmother, giving you everything you want, making sure that everything is smooth...but you can fight your way through it and make the best of the things that did fall into your trajectory, a trajectory that you didn't necessarily sit and let happen to you but that you muscled through and influenced, yourself. You have the power to wrestle the ways of the world and get some things to go your way. Not everything, but that's not what this quote says. This quote says that you muscle through and fight the trend, and the trend is against you. You have to make a conscious decision as to how you're going to fight, in what way, and what you can influence versus what is outside your control. I love this quote because there is only fighting, not control.
It puts responsibility on you to captain your ship, to realize that LIFE IS NOT FAIR, but that you have to work to make the best of your situation, of your life, of existence. At least that's how I see it.
So tell me, what are your thoughts on these things? Is everything a conscious decision to wade through what's given? What's a choice, and what's not? How much can you change in your life? Do you have a trajectory, is it changeable, and would you want to know where it all goes in the end? Would that influence your decisions or would you still go with the flow for the whole experience of it all?
Those are my deep thoughts for this Sunday. I'd love for you to join in...