What if……….

I recently posted this image on Facebook:

Which prompted the husband to comment, “Well that’s a bit deep, is there something you’re trying to tell me?”

On the one hand it might appear a bit deep but even at a basic level, it is absolutely true. Every single day we all make decisions which have the potential to change our entire lives. For sure, most of those decisions don’t actually seem that momentous at the time, but nonetheless, they happen.

But on the day I posted the image I was actually having a bit of a ‘is this it?’ day. Let me clarify – I was NOT thinking that about my marriage, my kids, my job or anything specific. Just a bit of a daydreamy day I guess.

Now and again I find myself wondering what, if I could do absolutely anything, would I have done with my life that I didn’t/haven’t. And to be honest, there probably isn’t too much. I guess the biggest thing is that, if I could turn back the clock I would probably take a different career path. Not because I haven’t achieved – I have had a variety of jobs and have, happily, been fairly good at them. I’ve managed people, been promoted, led teams to improve performance and service delivery and been respected for my skills and professional knowledge. But it’s almost all happened more through luck than judgement.

I never had a career plan. I was at school when computers weren’t common place and where the academic subjects were still considered more ‘valid’. When I got a D in my maths GCSE I was basically told I’d amount to nothing! Can you even imagine a teacher saying that these days?!!  Anyway, that’s another story.. So, no career plan, I didn’t finish my A Levels and as a result, university was never an option. And THAT is probably my one, single, big regret. University…. or a vocational qualification at least!

(Yes, I could go to uni but that’s actually not the point).

I distinctly recall a burning desire to study hair and beauty. From a young child I’d always had an obsession with make up and ALL my dolls had their make up done and their hair cut. I even gave my brother a hair cut one day…. Mum wasn’t pleased and it needed professional attention to repair it but again – that’s another story!

Unfortunately, my grades were ‘too good’ and I was strongly advised that hair & beauty was not a career choice…. It’s important to remember that this was the 80’s/90’s and the beauty industry was not what it is now. My dream had been to have my own, luxurious salon dedicated to pampering clients and have them walking away feeling amazing!

Thinking back, that has been my only real career dream. The only things that, even now, makes me feel excited to think of the potential. With the beauty industry what it is these days, who knows what I might have achieved if I’d stuck to my guns!

Anyway – back to my original point… every single decision you make, has the potential to totally change the direction of your life.  In my youthful inexperience I allowed others to influence me and, although I’ve ‘done OK’, I do wonder what might have been if only I’d been more stubborn and determined!

Do you have unfulfilled ambitions? What would you do if you had the chance to do it all again?



2 thoughts on “What if……….”

  1. Well now there’s a thing.

    I’m not sure I could say I’ve regrets or that I’m unfulfilled, but there are a few things where I wonder what could have happened had I made some different choices when I was younger. I spent some time mentoring pupils at my secondary school recently, and it made me think about what I might have done as an alternative path.

    I think one thing that I always loved, but never pursued was photography. Had it been as accessible as it is now (got a phone, got a camera) I wonder if I’d have gone more with the creative side of my personality, but with the technology flavour that I chose to pursue completely in the end.

    Most of all though, one thing I walked away from after my A-Levels was languages. I studied Latin and French to A-Level, and found that languages came naturally. Now with A-Levels in French, Latin and Maths, it’s not a massive leap of faith that I ended up writing code at the outset of my career, but I was really passionate about human language itself, with all its rules and irregularities. Probably of all the things I could have chosen to focus on, this is the one that I wonder about the most. Perhaps the alternative me could have been a translator or some such.

    That said, I met the love of my life at work, so on balance I think I made the right choice in the end, though I remain convinced fate would have intervened and we would have met anyway.

    Thanks for triggering the thought anyway.


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