Choices

I’ve been participating in Blogging 101 from WordPress U, and yesterday we were asked to make comments where we hadn’t previously. The new task is to “Be Inspired By the Community:”

Today’s assignment: write a post that builds on one of the comments you left yesterday. Don’t forget to link to the other blog!

I found Live & Learn, where David Kanigan will often share inspirational quote, poems, and some fantastic photography. I enjoyed his post and it prompted me to think about how I feel we’re shaped by the choices we make in our daily lives.

Whether good or bad, past choices make us who we are in the present. You can certainly choose not to think about or dwell on the unpleasant ones, but unless you’ve reflected on them enough to learn not to make those same mistakes again, shutting them out and denying them as an integral component of your current makeup isn’t healthy. Just as we enjoy remembering the positives, we must embrace the negatives as growth opportunities. They’re all part of us.

I made choices over 10 years ago to get married and have a child. My marriage didn’t last, and ended in divorce, but had I not taken that path I might not today have my wonderful daughter. I might also have pursued a direction that wouldn’t have led to the amazing woman I’m with now. Those choices play a role in how I look at the world and challenges presented on my present road.

What kinds of choices do you think about? Does one stand out in your memory? Regret isn’t a productive emotion, but sometimes we can’t help feeling it. The key is to try to focus on how we can use the choices we’ve made to make new ones we feel better about now.

Advertisements

The Gateways & Doors of our Lives

This post was written in response to the Weekly Prompt over at Studio30Plus. Be sure to head there and read all the other awesome posts from the community!

As a species, humans are seemingly always on the move. We’re physically going to place to place, going to work, school, the store, or even the park. Rarely do we find anyone who, by choice, stays in the same spot all the time. We are driven to see more, see new things, meet new people, DO new things, and usually we have to step outside of our normal, everyday surroundings to see and do those kids of things. We also do a lot of mental and emotional travelling, up, down, through, and around a myriad of feelings, almost daily. Sometimes that’s enjoyable, sometimes not so much, but it’s part of who we are.

Despite the natural,  locomotive state of our species, we seem to be very adept at putting up barriers to restrict the very movement we take for granted. Walls, doors, fences, gates, roadblocks and traffic signs, stop signs, in our city streets and in our minds. There are doors and places locked to us, keeping us out, or maybe even keeping us in. Some people even live in gated communities or private neighborhoods, where visitors must be buzzed in by a guard or at the front door to the building. I don’t think about any of these things on a daily basis, they just exist. I lock my door behind me when I get home. I go through doors entering my office in the morning and when leaving in the evenings. “Park closes…” says the sign on the gate by the entrance to the city park, so you know you have to be on a certain side of it when the gate is shut. We just do them, ignore them, or take them for granted.  At least I know I do, most of the time.

This prompt made me realize that I’ve gone through some pretty important gateways in my life. Um, being born? You bet! Walking out the door of my high school on that last day before graduating? Definitely! The most important ones to me though, have been the metaphorical ones- becoming a dad, getting married, getting divorced, finding happiness again after a rough stretch. I’ll ALWAYS be happy I’m a dad, but you know what I mean. Things are going on for me right now that are making me happier than I’ve been in a long time. Those are all gateways, in my opinion. There’s a threshold to be crossed, and sometimes it’s closed and you have to make an effort to open them and walk through them. Some of them you’re thrust through, others you choose to make that forward movement.

What we do when we approach these sorts of gateways often serves to define us to some degree. At the very least those moments often shape our future, whether we realize it or not. Do you feel like you cross paths with these kinds of gateways with an open heart and mind, or do you fear them? Do you wish you could go back through some of them and pick Door #2 instead? Is the juxtaposition of my Let’s Make a Deal reference with my serious tone too weird? Just checking to see if you’re still with me 😉

“When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
– Alexander Graham Bell