Life is good. My husband is absolutely amazing. My job is good. We have more vehicles than licensed drivers and more bedrooms than sleepers. We are the white, middle-class, living the "dream".
At times, I wonder "what if". Don't you?
What if my first marriage had not ended? Where would I be? What job would I have? How many kids? Would he and I still be in love as we celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary this year? Would we possibly be new grandparents?
What if I had not met my second husband? Would I have still ended up in the dark place that almost stole me away? Would I still toil away as a teacher, barely making ends meet but loving my work? Would I be content in my little house that was all mine until it wasn't?
What if I were single and foot-loose and fancy free? Would I travel more? Would I have a fashionably run-down apartment in Midtown and a Vespa to get to the corner store?
What if I never gained the 100+ pounds in adulthood? Would that have made any difference at all?
What if I had purple hair? Could I still work in Corporate America? Would people take me seriously?
What if I moved to France after my glorious summer there? Would I be sitting in a cafe this morning with a café au lait and pastry, reading Le Monde before wandering through the Jardin du Luxembourg?
What if where I am is exactly where I was destined to be at this exact time for reasons unknown?
I think I'll go with the last one. Looking back on all the "what if's" with the myriad of possible outcomes may be a wistful exercise, however, I know there are things in my life that are so important to me that I wouldn't go back and choose a different adventure (remember those books?) unless I could be assured that the people and experiences I hold the dearest were going to be there when I arrived at this exact time.
The image is of a random shaded path somewhere in the Loire Valley that I snapped while touring the châteaux in the summer of 1996. I don't know where it leads - what if it leads to a magical castle? or a dragon's den? or a sparking lake? or romantic rendezvous? or a garden party? or an epic battle? or......