The "What If" Game

Now we all go this from time to time. My version come in the form of what would've happened if I had chosen to go left instead of right? What would've happened if I had gone off to another college university and lived in the dorms instead of going to work full time? What would've happened if I was still that one person's friend? What would've happened?

These questions are very open for the imagination, but you have to be careful if you're chasing that rabbit down the rabbit whole, because Wonderland is a very different place that you don't always want to end up in. And these rabbit holes often lead to me making very important decisions in life that I wouldn't have had to make if I didn't chase that darn rabbit.

Such as how I was going to handle university. I played that what would've happened or the what will happen scenarios in my head a million times until I ultimately made a conclusion. The first time I made it, I was in a bad place in my life and couldn't afford to go another year in out-of-state college. So I had to play the game of "What will happen if..." and found it led to no where besides going home no matter how I tried to change the outcome.

The next time this game, as I like to refer to it as, came up when I was deciding between what to do the following year. Do I go to another university and live in the dorms, or do I go to work during the day and go to a technical college at night? This ended up leading me to going to night school, which I questioned a million times though I would never change what I would've done. It was more just the wonder of what it would've been like if I had finished college out as a major university where you lived on campus and went to lecture halls rather than a few classrooms and a computer lab. For one, I never would've gotten my job at the Health Information System firm in downtown Minneapolis, and learned more there then I did in any classroom. And I never would've gotten my dog, Pixie. I also wouldn't be the major I wanted to be in.

But that wasn't the end of the game, recently I've had to take another go at the game. I wrote a post not to long ago about this, in a post called "Hard Life Decisions." Basically, I had to decide which was more important. My career that I've already started and have been promoted in, or my education. Sadly, my education took a new seat. I still need to switch it over but my mind is basically set. I'm going to be leaving going to my technical college in-class and go the online route. This was not an easy decision but it will work out the best in the end, I do believe. And maybe one day I'll switch back to being in-class but with my schedule there's simply no time for it. I can't play the mental math game of how to cram sleep, school, homework, volunteering once or twice a month, maintaining health/ well-being, and full time job with after hours maintenance all into a week without spreading myself too thin.

Have you ever played a game similar to this? If so, it's not always the worst thing to do as long as you don't keep chasing the rabbit. At some point you have to stop and reflect, then make the decision that is right for you. Even if no one agrees. Because believe me, everyone has an opinion on what you should do. Just do you, because you're the only one who can make that call for yourself.

- Mae Polzine