How many what ifs do you have in your life?

I wish I could be the person that can say I don’t have any what ifs understanding that every moment has brought me to where I am in life. Rather, I’m the person where all the what ifs happen at one time. What if I decided on acting? What if I stayed? What if I lied? What if my dad moved to Portland sooner? What if I didn’t say they were invited? What if I didn’t carry that box of paper? What if I was paying attention and didn’t slip? What if I had said yes? What if I had said no? What if I didn’t want tea?

I think what ifs are just unfinished business – our own personal Casper or ghosts that we can never see but know they are there. And because of that I sometimes wonder what could have happened had that business been finished. Would my life be different? Would I be happier? Lighter? Smarter? Would it have lasted for a second? A month? A year? Forever? And then I realize, sometimes forever is just a single second. Maybe the one thing that I did want had come to pass and that fleeting second was the forever I had wanted. And since the forever has ended all I have are memories that I can cherish but will forever haunt me because I wanted more. I want more.

I think of that commercial that the kids are begging their parents for just one more day of vacation. I understand that want and need of just one more day. One more day of sunshine. One more day of freedom. One more day of fun. Is that so bad to ask? One more day. What I would give to be given one more day, even if I know that one more day isn’t a day that should be given. What’s done is done right?  That one more day can never happen because my forever has already been expurgated. It was a fleeting second. A moment in time that has come and passed. Forever.

What really messes with us is the picture in our heads of how life should actually be. At least for me it does. By now I should own my own house, have two kids, own my own business, be financially stable. But all of that hasn’t come to pass. Instead, I’m broken. Things are broken. All the what if’s continue to circulate in my brain taunting me of their possible outcomes. All those broken promises. Broken dreams. Broken hopes. But I’ve come to realize even broken crayons still color.  I want to color. I do. But sometimes I find it harder then anticipated to keep on keeping on. What if this crayon wanted to be a different color? What if I wanted to color outside of the lines? What if I wanted to compensate for the lack of creativity and create a moon and stars? Or a black lab? Or a river?

And my love for the river always seems to come back as my biggest what if. The river forces my mind to think of how much coloring outside of the lines I want. You see, my need for the ocean is always apparent. But, what if all I want is the river instead of the ocean? What if I want the sun to still beat down on my face without the crashing of the waves? What if I just want to hear the gentle ripple of the tide hitting the shore? What if I want the arms of the river to engulf me so I, for once in a very long time, feel protected instead of sheltered? Or instead, what if I want the heart of the river to love life as it stands today instead of the life it could have had? What if I want the river to heal the wound it has made into the rocky shore? To heal one’s wound they need to stop touching it. Don’t rub it. Don’t scratch it. Don’t bother the healing process. What if that is all I want? What if its not?

How many what ifs do you have in your life? What are the what ifs you are willing to forget and let go? What are the what ifs that you still wonder about? Apparently, what has been left unsaid, untouched, says it all. The wondering seems to only snuff out my will to move forward. What if its time, by sheer will, to keep moving forward, forgetting about the what ifs, not giving a crap about the past, and just do what I have to do for me? Maybe it’s time to find a way to make my heart whole in the ocean that has always been mine.