Spring Hill, Florida Life is about choices. Everything we do determines the paths we take and the persons we become. Good or bad, we all learn from the choices that we make.

Most of us are content with the lives we lead, never giving thought to the what if’s or could be’s. Yet I bet that there’s a good many of us that wonder as to whether things could have been different. Hell, even those that never question the paths they’ve taken in life have probably wondered if they could have changed a certain aspect of their life and made things better.

I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t listened to my Mom and taken the path that she’d chosen for me. Where would I have ended up? Would I have become the writer that I always wanted to be? Would my dreams of going to college back then have played themselves out? Would I have had the family that I’ve always wanted? You know, the single-family home, two beautiful children, and the freedom to do what I’ve always wanted to do and be who I was truly meant to be.

While my life has taken a different turn from the dreams that I used to have as a kid, there are some aspects of my life that I’m glad that I have gotten to experience. Those small aspects that I don’t regret – meeting new friends, getting to know family that I was never aware of before, and traveling to some places that I’ve never been to – to name a few. The one drawback of this life I lead is that my freedom is constricted. But I aim to remedy that once certain things in my life start falling into place.

Kids these days have it golden and should be thankful for the freedom that their parents have given them. It’s true that some overstep their boundaries and do things that no normal child would do, but that’s usually because it’s their way of lashing out at the injustices that they feel they have suffered at their parent’s hands.

What they don’t realize is that back then, most of us weren’t allowed such liberties. No, back in the day, our parents decided the paths that we would take in life and what positions we would hold in society. If we didn’t like what they decided for us then that was too damned bad. We had to grin and bear it and make the most of what we were given. This is even more so if you come from a family that is deeply devoted to all things God, but that’s a whole other story so I’ll leave that for another day.

When I was seventeen, Mom made a decision that changed my life entirely. I’d reiterate more on this, but for personal reasons I can’t really do that right now. Perhaps some day I’ll be able to, though, so I’ll keep that option open. Anyway, back then, I really didn’t think much about the path Mom made me take. I’d been raised to accept whatever choices were made for me and the thought of questioning everything never crossed my mind. I went to work, went to church, and accepted that there was no other life outside of the religion that I’d been raised in.

It wasn’t until I turned twenty-one, when I woke up one day and asked myself whether I truly wanted to continue living the life I led. In keeping up appearances, people always assumed that I was happy, even though I wasn’t. Family thought I had things made, as I never lacked for anything and had a home to show for it. But what did they know? No one knows what it’s like to lead the lives we lead and whether we are truly happy with the cards that life has dealt us. Unless someone else has walked within our shoes they have no idea as to what truly lies deep within our hearts.

I don’t begrudge my Mother for the choices that she made for me. She had her reasons for doing what she did and I know she thought it was for the best. I just wish that she’d given me the choice to decide how to live my life. Regardless, I’ve learned from the past and have been trying to live my life my way ever since then. I refuse to allow someone else to dictate the way I should live. I’ve gone through that and it wasn’t pretty.

I’m now trying to rectify things and make the most of the rest of my life. Which, unfortunately, some aren’t happy about. But as the saying goes, we can’t please everyone.

I’m of the mind that we should live our lives in whatever manner makes us happy. To make the best choices possible when it comes to our hopes and dreams. Someone else shouldn’t have to make our choices for us.