What If?

“I’ll have all of my goals accomplished in x amount of years,” you say, as Depression gives a hearty chuckle at your expense.

If I were to ask a 13-year-old version of myself what she thought I’d be like in 8 years, I already know exactly what she’d say, “She’ll be skinny, with expensive clothes, a boyfriend, and she’ll still be deeply involved in music, and she’ll have a bunch of friends. And she’ll go to a really good Ivy-League school.”

Call it unrealistic or foolish if you like, but this is how I genuinely thought high school and college life would be. I’m not entirely sure why I thought this way. I think it was because I became a little too involved in The Clique Series  and watched too much television. My expectations were high. But, to be fair, I had no idea that the following year (2008) and the years following would involve a string of shitty events that would eventually lead to a downhill tumble into a deep depression. Did I think that, at 21, I’d  be a size 18, almost completely abandon singing, and have a pretty small circle of friends? Hell no. Don’t get me wrong, my life isn’t awful. I do appreciate the people in my life and all of the things I’ve accomplished in the last 5 years or so. But sometimes I do wonder what life would be like had everything gone exactly as I’d planned it.

What if I came out of my parents’ divorce and relocation hurt, but not completely broken? What if the depression never hit?

I imagine I’d be as ambitious as I’d always wanted to be, and able to enjoy myself without the awful anxiety whispering negative thoughts in the back of my head.

I do sometimes wonder what it’d be like if I did get into an Ivy League school or NYU. I wonder what it’d be like if I’d applied to Howard U. Would I be happy? Would I have been as successful as I planned on being in college? Would I have a lot of friends and a nice part time job? Would I be a healthy size 8 or a size 10, able to shop anywhere I want, and never worry about how I looked? Would I be in a steady relationship with someone who compliments me in the best of ways? Would I be the picture perfect Kappa or Delta and someone who makes a substantial change in her community?

Or would the emotional breakdown happen then from the stress of trying to lead a perfect life?

This blog wouldn’t exist. I don’t think I’d be as understanding and open minded about others had I not struggled. This isn’t to say that I’d be a completely awful person.

But hardships make you reevaluate everything you’ve ever thought about the world around you.

When you’re twenty-one, and you’re battling depression, but you’ve overcome some of the hardest moments in your life, you sit down and think everything over. I’m not where I planned to be, and I can’t change that. But my future is bright with possibilities and the ability to change.

With all the ‘what ifs’ and ‘I wishes’ tossed aside, my only question now is: What’s next for me?

16 thoughts on “What If?

  1. whereshappy says:

    Such a hard question. What is next for you? I wish I knew, but it will take courage, an open mind and belief that you can be brave and do what you need to do to feel content inside. I have to dig deep every single day to find my happiness, and it is such a great feeling when I do. Good luck to you.

  2. Jamila says:

    I sometimes wonder the same thing. I am a reflective person, I like to sit and think about my life (sometimes I think too much). I wonder if my parents didn’t split up would I have done better in school, not that I had horrible grades, but could I have gotten straight A’s? Could I have gotten into Harvard? I thought I would have my license at 16, not 19 and for some reason I always wanted to be popular. I didn’t think I would have to go to community college for a semester. Everyone thinks of what will happen in the future, but sometimes our predictions don’t come true and life is not fair. Those who go through a lot in life I think grow up to be wise and can pass their wisdom onto others. Lots of people who you think are on top of the world struggled to get there. I think you could be an accomplished writer, you already are a natural writer, if that’s what you continue to pursue. Enjoy the rest of your summer, Little.

  3. Yashna says:

    What’s next for you is what you want to do. It’s never too late to start something new! I know that it is easier said than done. But nothing is impossible. You can be what you want to be, you know that right? So decide what you want to do from now. It is okay to start from scratch. I know I’m nobody to tell you what you should do. Because it is completely your decision. But if you want to do something and live the rest of your life without “what ifs” you can start fresh now :’) have a wonderful week ❤

  4. Antoinette says:

    How ironic to read that my child experienced the very thing that I hoped would not happen to her. Getting married, I thought it would be forever. It wasn’t. You being affected so drastically by this NEVER crossed my mind, until I experienced it on a daily basis. I could only fix some of it, but not all of it. I know that sometimes, we have our plans all figured out before they happen, and life (or God, depending how you see it) throws us a curve ball. That is when our experiences, upbringing and life skills kick in and remind us that there are other paths to “get there.” One thing is certain — I promised myself that you would continue to live the standard of life that we planned to give you. I think we’ve (you and I both) done fine. Educationally, you’ve succeeded, because that’s our family history. You are a different person and I see your strength as a result of this. I pray that these tough times have reminded you that, like Iyanla Vanzant says, “there is value in the valley.” Clearly, you are climbing mountains, and I’m so proud of you for doing so. Much love and admiration to you!

  5. MrsGood4Business says:

    In reading the comment ahead of mines, I gather your mother’s; I feel it is too hard an act (comment) to follow. It is in my opinion the one that means the most. I believe that you are on the path meant for you; and like Momma said in so many words; You are Rocking it hun. You have more perspective for tomorrow, hindsight from yesterday and this great forum.

  6. thefearfulwarrior says:

    Holy molasses. I thought I wrote this! Lol. I can completely relate! And yes, it’s good to know that I’m not the only who feels this way. I thought I would be curvy size 10, with a loving boyfriend, a high paying job and everything I could. Yeaaaa, let’s reevaluate that lol.

  7. thefearfulwarrior says:

    I have tried to post this 3x lol anyways, I thought I wrote this blog. I feel you. I thought I would be a skinny, in love, highly paid professional…who knows what! Glad to see I’m not alone 🙂

  8. Afrika Bohemian says:

    Though as painful as it is sometimes, it is also beautiful to acknowledge that life does not follow our plans…but like Rilke says its intention is not malicious, it only aims at bringing us to our fulness. I love your growth, thanks for sharing

  9. amadcatgirl says:

    As awful as this sounds, its always nice to know there are others out there with the same thoughts and feelings as you. I often wonder, what if things were different? what if i were successful in my career or had the perfect life? But as you so perfectly put it, i wouldn’t have the experiences i have that have shaped me and made me the person i am today. Thanks for your words. Inspirational.

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