Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

Things Could Be Different

Published in Blog.

If things had worked out differently I could be rolling with a ten year old kid and be married to someone who’s completely wrong for me. Essentially, I could have put a cap on my growth as a person. I could have foregone any sort of education and pursued the rest of my life with a fear of learning and a high school diploma which, as it turns out, was hardly worth the little time I actually invested in it. I could be bored with my life. I could think that what I was doing was a “good path,” pushing boxes around in a warehouse somewhere, or working as a hack-chef in an upscale chain restaurant; or at least I’d say it’s upscale to give myself some inflated sense of worth. I could be in jail. I could be in some gutter somewhere. I could be dead. But I’m not. Of all the things that could have happened, I ended up here. Looking at this screen on a Sunday night in a beautiful and safe apartment that I can miraculously afford in a state that I genuinely had trouble pointing out on a map as little as eight months ago.

Looking back on who I thought I was, and maybe even who I thought I was going to be, I could have never guessed that things would have played out like they did. I was in the 12th grade a decade ago, working to make up credits so I could actually graduate from high school. I had quit my job and picked up a taste for drinking beer and doing a bit of hash and weed. I guess though, when you carry your own pipe around with you pretty much wherever you go, ‘a bit’ is probably an understatement as far as usage is concerned. Point is, the drastic changes that life gives us are so immense that it’s sort of pointless to focus on anything but the moment. Sure, draw up your five year plans and figure out what you’d like to aspire to be in that given amount of time, or make sure that you’re working to meet your goals, but don’t think for one moment that some serious change isn’t going to happen between now and then. It will. Things could have been different now given the past, and things in the future will be different given the present. Suppose all that’s to be done, really, is to just try and enjoy yourself a bit right now.