It is in my nature to ask the universe, "What if?" It is the thing that puts me squarely in the creative set, and has bound me to a world of fiction and other made up stuff for the life I have been living. I do this a lot when I am riding my bike to school. It is true that quite often those musings lean toward the "What if I had a car?" Then there are the other days, when I imagine all kinds of different things from outcomes to scenarios that might have turned out differently "if only."
So there's that hanging chad: "If." Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem about it. Malcolm McDowell starred in a movie about it. Many of us have lost sleep over that tiny little word. What if a robot came back from the future to kill the lady who would become the mother of the anti-robot rebellion? There's Arnold Schwarzenegger's career. I'm telling you, this is powerful stuff.
Which is why I don't tend to turn it on myself very often.
What if I had paid more attention in those math classes?
What if I had put a little more effort into the science classes?
What if I had not been so swept up in science fiction and fantasy as a kid?
What if I had considered a career path in my twenties?
I like to fix things. I could have been a TV repairman. What if I had done that?
Who repairs TVs anymore?
What if I had become a doctor? Instead of memorizing entire screenplays full of dialogue, I could have committed all those body parts and fluids to memory and made a find living off all that useful knowledge.
What if I would have spent as much time working at promoting my writing career as I did creating all those stories of drunken escapades?
Then I wouldn't be sitting here now, enjoying the trip that brought me to this place. I took the road less marked by regret. What if I stopped saying "what if?"