The road not traveled

Sliding Doors is one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies. It’s practically 20 years old now, which is hard to believe. Have you seen it? The movie follows Gwyneth Paltrow in London, and the two paths her character’s life could take, depending on a few small but significant events of one day.

sliding-doors-gwyneth-paltrow.png

When you’ve reached bit of a crossroads, I think it’s only natural to consider the road not traveled, the choices you didn’t choose.

That’s me in the top photo, a junior in college, and desperate to one day land a job at the legendary advertising agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. (You may not know their name, but you know their work.) I had considered going to art school in San Francisco after getting my undergraduate degree. Sometimes, I wonder what direction my professional life would have taken me had I pursued this other dream.

It’s not regret, rather, curiosity. Is this what Socrates meant by an un-examined life?

All of a sudden, you find yourself writing a movie script your head of how things could have played out, if you had only turned left instead of right. Romanticizing opportunities you passed on, like an ex-boyfriend you wanted to take back, but didn’t.

Reflection is important, but getting too caught up in what if scenarios doesn’t seem like a productive use of time. Unless or until it becomes all consuming. Like last summer, I couldn’t shake the idea that there was something different I should be doing.

Perhaps it takes a defining moment like this to give you the green light to turn the car around. When I look around now, it’s easy to recognize that I am exactly where I am meant to be, even if I’m still en route to that next place. Sliding doors don’t stay closed forever. It’s just a matter of timing for when they open and when you decide to get in.

3 thoughts on “The road not traveled

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