Sunday, July 06, 2014
16th - What If?
I don't typically think "what if..." about stuff. That implies that I'm living life with regrets. Or does it? I don't regret the choices I've made in my life. But I suppose that there have been a number of situations throughout my life that I could be curious about how things may have gone differently had I made a different choice.
Back in 2006, when Dad passed away, I quit my job as a day treatment counselor in Roanoke. What if I'd stayed? What if I hadn't decided to run to North Carolina to start seminary? At the time, I didn't feel the same about being a counselor as I do now. These days, I love it more than any other job I've ever had. Eight years ago, I liked it, but it wasn't something I enjoyed getting up in the morning to do. But it's possible I could have excelled at the job way back when. Maybe I'd have eventually worked on a masters degree that would have helped me move up in the company I worked for.
I know for one thing, I wouldn't have worked for the bank in North Carolina. I would not have grown close to a family that all but adopted me. I wouldn't have cultivated one of the greatest friendships I've ever known.
But what if I'd stayed in North Carolina instead of moving back to Virginia? What if I'd continued working for the bank in Raleigh?
The truth of the matter is, I was miserable where I was in North Carolina. That friendship that I made while I was there? One of the greatest I've known? Well, it was with a person who had been going through a great deal of turmoil, a lot of it at the hands of a local church. One might even say churches... plural... Due in part to watching her experiences, as well as a few negative experiences of my own, I was without a church. I wanted nothing to do with a church. That certainly didn't help my frame of mind where the misery was concerned.
I also hated my job. I despised working for the bank. I liked the majority of my coworkers. But customer service was just not something I was cut out for. Especially at the drive through. If you've ever been a bank teller, you probably know what I'm talking about. Going to the bank can really bring out the worst in a lot of people. Probably most people.
If I'd stayed down there, I might have gone insane. I had a family that loved and cared about me. I daresay they still love and care about me. But I was not in a place where I was willing to allow people to love and care about me. I pushed people away. So I pushed myself away.
And if I'd stayed, I would not find myself back in the role of day treatment counselor. I would not be in a job that I absolutely love. I would not have found my way to a church family that has challenged and encouraged me to grow and serve in new and exciting ways. I would not have formed new relationships with people whom I have no doubt will stay in my heart for the rest of my life.
So I guess I do think "what if..." sometimes. But that doesn't mean I regret any of my life decisions. Every little thing happens for a purpose. It's exciting to discover those purposes as they come along.