I don’t have a family of my own as of yet, so I spend Thanksgiving with my parents. I drive down to my hometown, catch up with friends, bake a pie or two, eat lots of Mom’s good food, watch football and maybe do a little shopping. I also make it a point to read the town newspaper. I saw the article pictured at right and chuckled to myself, thinking: ‘yeah, its amateur night.’ It also made me think about the time I had applied for a job at that same newspaper years ago.
I didn’t get the gig because I didn’t have any writing samples on me at the time. I remember being irritated about that after the fact because I have two college degrees and this wasn’t exactly The Washington Post I was applying to. “How hard is it to write about honor rolls, City Council meetings and the occasional tractor accident?” I probably thought to myself at the time.
I got over it, life went on and I would eventually go on to write other things: short stories, video game reviews, podcasts and this blog. I never again thought about the snub until I saw that poorly written headline. As people are oft to do, I started to think about ‘what might have been.’ I quickly dismissed those thoughts to the back recesses of my mind, because I had better things for it to do, like get to work on the two short stories I need to have done by the end of next week.
Among other things, I subscribe to what is called the “Butterfly Effect.” Simply put, it states that a small change can ultimately have a much larger impact at a later point in time. “Does the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas,” and all that. You see the theory mentioned a lot in science fiction, especially where time travel is concerned, and it is also the title of a movie that I’ve never bothered to see.
Thus, I believe that if you are truly happy in your current situation, you cannot have any regrets at all. Even the smallest decision or event from years ago may have significantly altered your destiny. So don’t waste your time wistfully thinking about ‘what might have been.’ If you are not happy with your situation, do something about it, even if it is a small step. Small steps can eventually lead to something bigger and doing something is always better than doing nothing. On the other hand:
If you are content with your life…
but most of all, be you.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.