Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What If?

Have you wondered what your life would be like if things had played out differently?

Earlier this week, I was up late and Facebook creeping on people when on a whim I looked up my next-door neighbor from Missouri, Katie. I moved away from Manchester, Missouri to Texas when I was 7, but Katie and I saw each other a couple of times until we were about 10. So I haven't talked to her in a decade.

Her profile was private, but I could see she graduated from a high school in Manchester and was attending Maryville University in St. Louis. Even though her profile was private, her pictures were accessible for some reason, so I looked at them. She had gone on a trip to Spain senior year. I looked at her friends, and looked at all the names that had graduated from her high school in 2009. What would my life be like if I had never moved from Manchester? How many of those people would have been my friends too? Would have Katie and I stayed best friends? Would have I gone on that trip to Spain, instead of to Paris and London?

I know one thing: I'm almost 100% sure I would have gone to Mizzou (the University of Missouri) if I still lived in Manchester. After all, I wouldn't been used to Texas heat and the school would have not been that far away from me. I considered Mizzou in my current life, but ultimately fear of cold and fear of being far away from my immediate family scared me off. But I do admit Mizzou is the top Journalism school in the country.

But would I still love Journalism if I lived in Missouri? I mean what made me love Journalism? It was because I loved writing, but I can't remember a specific moment when I fell in love with writing. Even in Missouri, I loved words—because my mom, an English major, read to me every night. That has nothing to do with location. That's pure maternal love.

But there's one more instance where I think What If????

When I was a sophomore in high school, my Mom got a job offer in Vienna, VA and my family (very briefly) considered moving from Rockwall to Virginia. My mom ended up not needing to transfer, but I still wonder...What if I had spent my last 2 high school years in Vienna? Would I have come back to Texas for college or stayed on the East Coast? Would those 2 years been great (new friends! new house!) or terrible (I'm the new girl! Cry...)? The following summer, my church choir went to Vienna on a choir trip (by pure coincidence!). I remember staring out of the window as we drove around the town, and trying to picture learning how to drive on those roads and going into those shops and eating at those restaurants. We performed at a Baptist Church, but I remember driving past the Methodist Church and thinking, "I could have gone there..." Ultimately, I am sooo glad we didn`t move to Vienna, but still I wonder what my life would be like right now if....

I guess I have an overactive imagination. I mean, why am I even thinking about this? I love my current life—I love Texas, I love TCU, I love the friends I have in Texas. I love heat and hate snow. Yet I wonder if my current desire to live in Chicago is because I want to recapture some of the life I might have had in Missouri.

Maybe I should go into Psychology….I love overanalyzing things.

But still….what if?