Have you heard that hindsight is 20/20. This is a saying which means that “It’s easy to know the right thing to do after something has happened, but it’s hard to predict the future.” This is one of those phrases that slides through my thoughts often.
I often wonder if I had made different decisions during my life or changed the timing of them just a little that I wouldn’t be who I am today. The impact to the life I currently lead would be astronomical.
At the time I graduated high school I was very naive. I grew up in a small town. My father died when I was young. My mom was physically and verbally abusive when she was home; which wasn’t as often as it should have been. I was in charge of my younger siblings and taking care of the house. Needless to say I led a very sheltered life.
I knew very little of the world outside of my home. Of course, I thought I knew a lot more than I did. Don’t we all at that age.
What I did know came from books and movies. I looooved romance stories. I dreamt of being swept away by a man who loved me unconditionally. It would be love at first sight. I would just know. I wrote about it in song lyrics and poetry. I wanted my prince charming and all the fixings. I still love a good romance story.
In reality I wanted to escape the life at home I found myself in. That realization wouldn’t materialize in my thoughts for many, many years.
I turned eighteen a month after I graduated. I ventured outside my small town to a nearby suburb for a job. It wasn’t a fancy job but to me it was such an adventure. It was away from everything I had ever known.
I was rolling silverware in paper and cloth napkins for a paycheck. I would spend hours taking a knife, fork and spoon and roll them together for our customers. I was really fast at it. I would be able to keep up with the demand at the buffet restaurant and keep it stocked for hours after I left. In any job I have held I always do my best and keep trying to improve. This one seems silly to me today although I took great pride in being very fast.
I worked in the dishwashing area of the kitchen. A huge contraption that you fed dirty dishes in on one end and they came out hot and clean at the other end. There was a person at each side at all times keeping the machine flowing seamlessly.
I didn’t realize that both the guys that I was working with; one at each end of the dishwasher, were always flirting with me. I truly thought they were just being nice. About a month after I started working there the one that put the dirty dishes into the machine finally worked up the courage to ask me out on a date before the other guy did. Apparently it was a big topic of discussion between them when I wasn’t around.
Right here. This very moment. I have the opportunity to say yes or no to this date. This life changing decision. If I chose differently, I could have changed the whole trajectory of my life. I can’t even imagine what I could have done. Hindsight is 20/20 afterall.
I did said yes. It seemed so innocent at the time. My naive heart and brain wanted the magic. I wanted the romance. I believed every sweet and loving word that came out of his mouth that night. We talked for hours and hours. I wanted to believe everything with each and every ounce of my being. I had to believe it. It was everything I ever wanted. Looking back, it was the only decision my non-experienced mind could make.
You may think I am over-reacting. It is just a date. Yes, that day was ‘just a date’ but it was so perfect in my love starved mind. It set me up for date number two; the very next night. He proposed! I fell for it hook, line and sinker. I was ripe for the picking and didn’t even know it. He fulfilled my romance story to a tea and swept me off my feet.
We were married two months later.
I meant every word of my marriage vows. I didn’t have any doubts. I never thought once that what I was doing was crazy. I had my life all figured out and I was going to live happily every after.
Hindsight is 20/20 afterall.
What happens next in my journey is for another day.
‘Til next time.