What if I had never gotten cancer?
-This is probably the biggest what if. Would I have gotten into sports in high school instead of homeschooling, would I have had different friends, done better in school, gone to a more prestigious/accredited college? Would I be the same person I am now?
What if I hadn't gone on a mission?
-I was told by my Stake President that, because of my health circumstances/situation/cancer-survivoriness, I was exempt from the 'requirement' of serving a mission. I (gratefully) chose to go anyway, though I often wonder what my life would be like if I hadn't. Would I have as strong of a testimony? Would I have graduated college already? Would the people I taught still have joined the church?
What if I hadn't come to Utah after my mission?
-I prayed asking where to go after my mission, and Utah, Idaho, and Virginia all seemed like viable options. I chose Utah because there was a girl here I wanted to date, but I ended up marrying a different one. If I hadn't gone to Utah, would I have met Tracie some other way? Where would Tracie and I be today if we'd never met?
There are lots and lots of other what ifs, like what if I hadn't worked at iArchives? (the place I met Tracie), What if I chose something else as my Make-A-Wish? (Instead of painting in Italy) What if I had been called to a foreign speaking mission? What if my brother Aaron was still alive? What if we never moved from California? What if we didn't have Morgan? As I said, getting older begs you to ask these questions about the seeming endless possibilities of life and how you managed to take your own path for better or for worse, and not see any other way you would have rather gone.
Think about how many occurrences and choices sculpted you into the person you are living the life you now have. How easily such a tiny choice can affect so many people.
In the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
These are indeed exceptions; but they showHow far the gulf-stream of our youth may flowInto the arctic regions of our lives,Where little else than life itself survives.
I am grateful every day for the choices I made, the things I chose and did and the things I chose not to do, what happened and what I made happen, for they all made me who I am.