If I had to help someone understand any lesson in life, the choice for lesson would be simple. You can begin any journey, new chapter, or path with the absolute best intentions and eventually you will find yourself down a road you never thought you would be on. You will mess up, you will make mistakes, you will live with regrets from choices, and you will fail. You start a new chapter after these failures though, one where you have more knowledge of what you want, where you see yourself, and who you are as a person. However, sometimes, once again even those new plans, ideas, and thoughts you have laid out for yourself will sometimes never become your reality. Life has a very interesting way of throwing you curveballs and sometimes your past choices have a way of catching up to you.
There is a popular theory called the butterfly effect, the theory basically states that if a butterfly flaps its wings on one continent it could cause a tsunami on another continent. In layman’s terms the theory means that a single person’s choice made on a random day of their life could influence their/others lives tremendously down the road. It’s a theory I always found interesting, and I find myself thinking about it at random times during the day. When you first begin to think about it you don’t really think your choices could have that big of an impact on your future. However, when you sit down and really think about it, the deeper the idea gets. When my father was younger, his sister covered him in oil-based paint from head to toe; for someone who does not know anything about art supplies, oil-based paint is incredibly toxic, and my dad almost died. If my dad had died and had never met my mother several years later, I would have never been born – and ultimately would have never been writing this today. The choice from the past that impacted the present now was my grandmother realizing the severity of the situation and getting the paint off my dad as fast as she could (then of course taking him to the doctor). Another choice that impacted right now was when my mom first found out she was pregnant. She and my dad had been trying for a baby for two years when my mom found out she had scare tissue on one of her tubes. She was scheduled for surgery and the day before something told her to call about her results. When she called, the nurse told my mother that she was pregnant. Later, my mom asked the surgeon what would have happened if she had had that surgery and the surgeon said that I would have been killed since she was pregnant. If my mom had not made the choice to call, I would be dead right now.
Every choice has an impact on the future. Regardless of the plans you’ve made, hopes, and dreams you hold, and willpower you must make your life as good as you can – sometimes your choices, even ones from the past that seem un-important can catch up to you. Make your choices wisely. Make your choices line up with what you want for yourself as much as you can. That way (regardless of the outcome) you will know you did your absolute best to get yourself as close to those “best laid plans” you had for yourself. It may not end up like the dream reality you had in mind, but it will be a version of it. A version that has failures, hopes, dreams, regrets, sadness, happiness, and joy all meshed into one perfect story.