Realization a few years ago: It didn’t matter which choices I made, I would’ve ended up in about the same situation; the same relative health, happiness, and all the other stuff. I think this might have been one of those “coming of age” things for me, where all the accumulated life experience, to this point, occasionally congeals into some little brain explosion.
Now that doesn’t mean a person could have ignored all proper behavior warnings and done really stupid things that end up in a major disaster, but we’ve [usually] got the right steering signals. I’ve talked to a lot of people about their decisions through life and I always seem to hear “I don’t know if I made the right choice back then….I could have been a (fill in the blank)”. My answer to them is “The choices you made are those that got you here; you’d be pretty much the same no matter which direction you went.” You might have regrets that you never jumped out of an airplane, or whatever, but you didn’t do that. Fuggedaboudit. ….oh, and keep moving.
At WDS this year Cal Newport, from Georgetown Univ, talked about how people following their passion for something or other often end up going in several directions during their lives, like most people I know. He told the Steve Jobs story, of how Steve went from Eastern Religion, Zen monk or whatever, gadgeteer, day-to-day survivalist, and on and on until [what I think] his brain rewired (again, for the umpteenth time) and ended up on his famous path. And Cal reiterated that it doesn’t matter about all those different paths (as long as you grind into each of them long enough to do them up properly) because you’ll end up “where you’re supposed to be”. It was a validation for me to hear that from someone else.
So rest easy and keep on doing the do, because you’re constantly in motion and moving forward. The only danger is stopping your quest-of-the-moment, and that’s usually from fear, which, after all, means False Expectations Appearing Real. You have several choices in that situation: go around it, plow directly into it, stare it down or invent your own method, but KEEP MOVING. Cheers!