Thursday, July 18, 2013

Alternate Universe, Different Pathways

March 1997

Having finished my clinical internship in January, I returned to Toronto, Ontario in March for my official graduation ceremony from Chiropractic college.  Because I had four year's worth of frequent flier points, I upgraded to Business Class for the short plane ride from Boston to Canada.

I found myself sitting next to one of the General Managers of the Boston Bruins.  Full of enthusiasm for my new profession, I delivered my five minute "Chiropractic will save the world" speech.  Apparently I was so convincing that the man offered me a position as the team doctor for the championship hockey team.

Except that I had already begun processing my aliyah through the Israeli Consulate, and had even received my one-way El Al ticket.  And in my naiveté, I joyfully answered this once in a lifetime job offer in the negative, explaining that I was planning on fulfilling a dream of moving to Israel in June, and therefore could not commit to a serious job in the United States.

July 2013

One week before my 45th birthday, and rather than ignore the day as I normally do, I find myself playing the less than efficient "What If" game.  What if I had accepted that job offer 16 years ago?  Would I have ever come to Israel, or would I have stayed on the East Coast, eventually getting married and living in the dream house with a back yard and a literal white picket fence?

Would I have been happier?

It is rare for a person to be able to look back on their life and pinpoint the exact moment that they made a choice, a life-altering decision that set the path for the future.  I chose Israel at that moment in Business Class.

The next time I chose a path with the ultimate of consequences was that morning about six years ago that I woke up and said to myself, "I'm ready. I'm ready to be a mother, even without a husband, because I don't want to miss the amazing opportunity to be pregnant, to feel a life growing inside me, and to watch that child grow every day."

I am fairly certain that Raphaela would not exist if I had not come to Israel to build a life.


Midlife Singlemum said...

I have a theory that if I'd made different choices and lived a different life, my life may have been different but the emotions would be the same. For example, had I married a wealthy man and had a tribe's worth of children - my level of contentedness and fulfillment would be roughly the same as it is now. My happiness and my frustrations would come from different places but the levels would be about the same. This is my interpretation of the saying that you live the life you were meant to live. It's just a theory.

Doc said...

My thought process is such that I can say that I live a life to my satisfaction with some wonderful moments of pure joy. At the same time, my life today looks nothing like any version I had imagined in high school, or in my 20's or once I had moved to Israel.
How do I find that balance between appreciating what I have, that life I was meant to live, and knowing that certain things are missing for me, that certain goals and dreams have not yet been met?