If my Dad had stuck around, I can't even imagine how life might have been different. Would he have been unhappy? Would my Mom be different as a mother if she was also a wife? How might it have changed the relationship with my siblings?
That's me on the left with my sister, Heather on the right - I still laugh EXACTLY the same way - head thrown back and busting a gut...
Would I have played soccer since it was an activity my Mom encouraged us to do so we wouldn't be sitting at home by ourselves as often while she was a single mom working in the world?
That's me with my head thrown back and busting a gut...told ya! Some things apparently NEVER change. ;-)
Yes, I think about how things might have been different - like would I have finished high school and gone on to college if I had the influence of a father instead of searching out male affection and getting pregnant as a teen? Perhaps...but then that would have set my life on a completely different course and I can't guarantee that I would be any happier, or that I would be worse off or whatever because the reality is that we don't get to have a It's a Wonderful Life Jimmy Stewart moment where we can see how different situations changed our paths. So my life is what it is because of my life experiences, and it may not always be perfect, but it's a good life. I'm stronger than some because of the struggles I've had. I can empathize more than some with others that have grown under non-conventional situations because I did the same.
BUT the same would not be true if someone asked me the same question in relation to my body. If you said to me right now if there was something about my body that I could change what would it be and why and I would have given you a laundry list of items that would be on there. I could see myself getting carried away...smaller butt! perkier boobs! thinner thighs!
And then reality sets in...wait a second, doesn't my body also reflect everything that has happened to me in my life and has made me who I am today? How is it any different?????
My legs provide me with strength for running and hiking and chasing grandbabies and so much more! If they were thinner perhaps I wouldn't have that strength. My boobs reflect the fact that I've provided sustenance for four babies. My butt...well, I don't know but it must serve some kind of purpose! LOL My stretch marks are tiger stripes earned by carrying those four babies during three pregnancies to full term happy healthy newborns. Without my extra "cushioning" I wouldn't know the thrill of victory of shaping my body into something different. Yes, I was a skinny child and was totally fit and active as a teenager. I could have simply maintained that...but if I had, then I might not have ever become a runner. I might not truly ENJOY working out...it would probably just be something that I "had" to do to keep my figure. I might not have discovered healthier ways of eating that I actually enjoy!
So really, the same holds true...I can't know what might have been, so why change it? My body is a reflection of who I am and who I am shaping myself to be just as my past is a reflection of who I am and who I am shaping myself to be. Time to stop thinking about what I would go back and change if I could and time to focus on being who I am - live life in the NOW and be happy for every challenge and every victory!