Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Choose your own adventure

Some of you might not be old enough to remember this, but there used to be a series of books called Choose Your Own Adventure.  You would be in a role ("You are an Arctic explorer..."; "You are an astronaut..."), the book would describe a situation, and every page or so you'd have to decide on a course of action.

Based on the course of action, you'd turn to a certain page in the book:  "If you stop to ask for directions, turn to page 55.  But if you choose to keep walking around the neighborhood, hoping you'll find the cafe, turn to page 91."

I was thinking today -- as a middle-aged guy might think -- about all the decisions I've made in my life, and how they've sent me down different paths.

Just as a quick example:  I could've gone to a less-expensive state university, lived at home with my parents, and just commuted to campus.  But if I'd done that, I wouldn't have met Old Roommate -- who I then wouldn't have roomed with when I finally graduated.  And I wouldn't have ran out of money partway through college, had to drop out, then got the job at the movie theatre, where I met Crash Adams, the drummer, who started the band with me and Guitar Cousin.

And if I had gone to the state university, I probably would've gone straight to graduate school -- and either gone to the same one I went to, but been five years earlier (meaning that I wouldn't have had classes with the woman who became my wife!) -- or else gone to another school altogether.  So:  spooky.

Basically, everyone's life is a series of decisions.  Each decision has consequences -- some predictable (e.g. Decide to start selling drugs; end up getting shot in the leg and having your money stolen); and some not so predictable ("right place, right time" situations). 

On the one hand, I think the trick is to make decisions that maximize the chances for the outcomes you want:  try to get whatever sort of education or work experience that prepares you for the job you want; avoid drugs; spend time with good, supportive people, not bad or negative people.

But!  Sometimes the bad choices -- as well as the negative things that happen to you -- can place you well for opportunities that you never would've expected.  As above:  I was really disappointed when I ran out of money and had to leave college.  But it turned out that that two-year(-ish) period was one of the best times of my life. 

So -- you don't know.  Do what you can; think long-term; but if things go bad, maybe it's just setting you up for something good.

Life is a long, interesting story -- and (from your perspective) you're the main character.

Take good notes:  maybe it can become a screenplay.


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