I’ve been thinking of this question lately. Maybe because they say 35 is the new 40 when it comes to a mid-life crisis. (I made that up, nobody says that 🙄.)
Seriously though. Life has been changing so fast that I’ve had to make myself stop now and again. Taking stock of life so far.
Also, I rewatched a favorite movie of mine called Sliding Doors which got me thinking too. It’s a fun romantic comedy from 1998 with Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah.
Quick run down of the film. (Spoilers)
Helen is at the top of her game working in PR (marketing). One day however, she gets fired and misses her subway train home.
This is where the film splits. An alternate plot line starts where she doesn’t miss her train. Which in Helen’s mind and the view of the writer is the defining moment of her life. A mundane moment, but nevertheless, the moment which this season of life hinges on.
In the reality plot, Helen gets mugged on the way home from getting fired and ends up with stitches. She laments missing the train knowing she wouldn’t have been mugged and been home hours before.
In the alternate plot, Helen catches the train and meets a young man who becomes important later (it is a romantic comedy after all). As the story unfolds, it seems that the alternate plot line is better as she doesn’t get mugged, catches her bf with another woman, starts her own business, and finds the love of her life (hint, it’s the man from the tube).
Both plot lines, slide by each other through out the film, just with a different trajectories.
However…the what if’s in the alternate plot line don’t pan out and her actual reality, while much harder and far less glamorous, ends up being for the best. I’ll let you discover why when you actually watch the film. (It’s on Netflix; you’re welcome).
Anyway, we all have those moments we wish we could do-over. The chance we should’ve taken. The words we should’ve shouldn’t have said. We wonder how an alternate choice could have changed our lives for the better.
The reality is, whatever happens, whether by our own choice or the choice of another, God has allow it. I know. That can be a hard truth to swallow when you’ve found yourself an innocent caught in the sin of another. But all things are allowed for the greater good.
That good could be a deeper relationship with the Father, a healed relationship with a friend or family member. That good could have nothing to do with you, but affect another person’s life for the better. Maybe something crappy happened to you and the only good that came out of it was for someone else. Perhaps they saw how you responded to that crappy situation with grace, forgiveness, or fortitude and as a result, they too were able to face a situation in their life with greater courage. Am I making sense here?
Ok. Let’s move on.
It’s not that I’m unhappy with life or discontent. Simply taking stock and trying to take advice from my younger self. We like to think of giving advice to our past self, but that won’t do much good.
Here’s what my younger self wants me to learn as I move forward:
- Take chances
- Make mistakes
- Get messy!
Wait, that’s what I learned from Ms. Frizzle. 🤷🏼♀️
Here’s what the younger Ms Scranton wants me to learn.
- Trust yourself – Whether it’s trusting my instincts or my abilities, need to trust myself more.
- Go for it – There are many times in my life when I thought I should go for something and I basically chickened out. Namely, I’ve always wanted to be a singer and actress.
- Speak up – This one is the hardest for me. You see, I win every argument in my head and guess what? I’m always right too! However, I don’t speak up for myself as much as I should. When things and people upset me, I vent inside and forget it, but there are times I need to speak up, even if I’m wrong because if I don’t everyone assumes I’m fine. When in fact. I’m not.
What lessons would your younger self have you learn?