Daily Prompt: The Road Less Traveled

Daily Prompt: The Road Less Traveled

Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.

If I had not decided then and with full certainty that I would return to America, I would have continued to struggle in all areas of my life.  It was August 1998 and I was in a state of spiraling decline.  Debt collectors were calling, relationships were plenty and short-lived and my job was hanging by a thread (not through any fault of my own; it was a company-wide threat).  Too many times, I was brought to my knees on the living room floor, sobbing; wracked with fear, shame, sorrow, loneliness and confusion at the age of twenty-eight, feeling as though I had no-one to turn to.

If I had not changed my life path so radically, I would have been forced to search for another job in another office with another keyboard to tap at.  No doubt I would have stepped into another ill-advised romance with some man onto whom I thought I could pin my hopes and dreams.  My pay would have been far less than my previous job and so I would have had to foreclose on my lovely new flat and move to a bedsit.  My car was old and I would not have been able to afford to get it fixed (it needed a lot of work) nor would I have had the money to buy a new used one.  But, public transport in England is highly populated so taking buses would not have been a problem.  I had a lot of credit card debt so bankruptcy might have still been a viable option unless I could have found a way to pay them off gradually.  However I lacked discipline and clarity and would have taken the easy route without learning any sort of lesson at all.

I do not think I would have been content.  And likely would not have quit smoking even though I certainly couldn’t afford it.  I might’ve splurged with the occasional batch of weed or if it wasn’t available, I would have pushed all of my problems to a remote corner of the mind with alcohol.  Would I have married and had other children?  That’s a tough one to envision.  I don’t believe I would’ve met anyone that shared a mutual level of sustained attraction.  However if I did, it wouldn’t have lasted and it’s likely that I’d have one child and become a single parent.

It would have been a tough life.

Fifteen years later I see through wiser eyes that I did have friends that would have supported me but I was very much withdrawn and in such a dark place that being alone and desperate felt like home.  And no matter if they did help in one way or another, it was destined that I sink down as far as possible in order to gasp up through the surface with a life-changing decision.  And it was the best one I have ever made.

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