The struggle in making a choice is not so much in walking through a door into a new experience but in closing the doors that you are not going to pursue.
When I was born, in my privileged white north american family, I essentially had every possible door open to me, I could do or be anything. As I grew and made choices, doors started to close.
I put my time and energy into reading and music rather than sports, there goes the professional athlete door.
At some forks in the road I was very cognizant of what I would be giving up by making my choice. When I was choosing a university I visited a number of different schools and read about their programs, eventually deciding that UW would best suit my needs and dreams and was aware that by coming here I was not going to those other schools.
As I've been getting older I have become more and more aware that when we are choosing a door there are often other hidden door that we don't, maybe even can't, see at the time. The sum of the choices we make are closing those doors as well, unbeknownst to us.
Every once in a while I come across a closed door that I had not realized my choices had closed, and despite how happy I am with the choices I have made, I feel sad about its loss. As I chose to be one version of myself, I did not always realize that I would be loosing an opportunity to live a different way.
I don't wish that I was aware of every path I would not be able to take when I walk down one, decision making is difficult enough with the options that I do know about, but whenever I realize an opportunity is now closed I can't help but wonder 'what if...'
Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living. -Jonathan Safran Foer
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