Every now and then I get a glimpse of how my entire life might be different if I’d made only one decision differently. I refer to these glimpses as Bizarro me’s — Bizarro after an episode of Seinfeld where a Bizarro Jerry was like Jerry but also different. The episode gets its name from the Bizarro superhero who was Superman’s opposite. The Bizarro wikipedia entry says “the term Bizarro is used to describe anything that uses twisted logic or that is the opposite of something else.” (I also call the across-town Target the Bizarro Target because it’s laid out opposite of how my primary Target is laid out.)
Anyways, these “Bizarro me’s” show me how my life might have been different if I’d gone to a different college, married someone else, not had kids at all, not had kids when I did, chosen a different career, etc. For a few years it was interesting to note that an old high school crush was leading a similar life to mine — we both moved to the same state and had our first babies around the same time. We also moved back to our home state around the same time. I remember thinking that if I had ended up with him instead of Hubby that my life wouldn’t have looked that different. But the similarities stop there and I look at his life now and think, yeah, that relationship wouldn’t have worked out or we wouldn’t have made each other happy. I should note that in these rare glances at bizarro me’s I don’t usually take into account how much influence I would have had on my own life. That individual might not have made the same decisions about careers, where to live, children, etc., if the players were different.
Another person I know gives me a glimpse of what life might have looked like had I not gotten married when I did, or even at all. Wow does that life look different! I got married after my second year of college so I’ve lived that life for quite some time. I was only single and on my own for two years, and half of that time I was dating and engaged. I don’t know what I would’ve been doing all these years if I wasn’t married and a mom, but seeing how someone else spent that time traveling, focusing on their career,and building friendships, gives me that glimpse into what might have happened. And yeah, I’m much happier with where I am.
And what if we had not had kids, again either when we did or at all. Some good friends of ours have been together 15 or so years and chose not to have kids during that time. Their lives are so different — they can travel easily and differently and spend their money on different things. I sometimes look at them and envision how our life would have looked without my boys. On one hand their life seems full — it is so much easier for them to do things with friends or be passionate about hobbies, careers, etc. But on the other, I love my boys and they bring us so much joy I can’t imagine not having them in my life. And, too, what if we’d had two girls instead of two boys, or even one of each. A friend has two girls that are similar in age to my boys, and wow would life be different! Ruffles and hairbows and pink, oh my!
It’s kind of fun to look around and realize how important each and every decision we make is, how each choice starts us down a path. Looking at “what might have beens” or bizarros make me appreciate the choices I made and where my path has taken me. I’d rather be no where else than where I am.