My life seems to be dictated by those two little words. Whether it’s looking into the future or peering into the past, that question creeps out of the woodwork as a gentle reminder that I’m not content.
What if I went to university? Where would I be now? Would I still be living with my university friends? Would I have a job pertaining to my degree? I constantly think about this, if choosing to not attend university was the right decision. I’m envious of the friendships and the experiences I’ve missed out on. The inside jokes that I can’t laugh along with, the memories I can’t enjoy and the nicknames that feel strange in the air. I tend to sit quietly in those moments, staring into my pint glass down the pub while my mates recollect and reminisce.
What if my parents never separated? Possibly the biggest ‘what if’ of them all, the grand daddy, the Super Bowl of what ifs. I remember the day as if it had just happened all over again. Throwing the cow-pattern adorned mug out of my Venician bedroom window and watching it tumble to the concrete and shatter, coinciding with how my world felt. Crying tears from the depths of my seven and a half year old soul and feeling scared of what was to come. Seeing both of my parents crying and thinking to myself, “If they’re both so sad why are they doing this?”. I stopped wishing my parents would get back together in my late teens but I’ve never stopped questioning how different my life might have been if it hadn’t happened.
What if my OCD gets worse? My mind runs rampant and it’s so hard to keep up with all of my thoughts. What if this? What if that? It’s easy to say that I should just let them go but it feels impossibly hard. I’m clutching on to hot coals thinking that they’ll keep my hands warm when really all they’re doing is burning them. You know when you see video clips and images of people crossing the street in Tokyo and it seems like a never ending stream of pedestrians and your eyes can’t focus because there’s so much to take in? That’s how I feel when I try and focus on one thing. I just can’t. It’s a superhighway of confusion and frustration that ultimately leads to the town of despair. I’m at the bottom of the quarry and I can’t find the way out, I’m lost in the middle of the maze, I’m caught in the loop, I’m stuck in the spider web of my thoughts and fears. My imagination is truly a blessing and a curse.
What if I’ll be alone forever? What if I’m okay with being alone forever? I read an article today that touched on five key things to remember about living alone. I am guilty of one of the subjects mentioned, treating my phone as a friend/room mate. I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this but when I feel lonely, I pick up my phone and message a friend or distract myself with social media or the latest trending app. I stop myself from feeling what’s really going on in my head be it sadness, loneliness or exhaustion among many other things. I don’t give myself the chance to sit with those feelings and let them in. Getting comfortable with your own company is something that I need to become familiar with and sooner rather than later. My rental agreement ends in August and I have no idea where I’ll be living or what will be happening so who knows. It is, as they say, up in the air.
What if I have to throw my new vans away because I step in something and I feel like they can’t be cleaned enough so that I could wear them again? What if I never amount to anything in life? What if I’m forgotten? What if nobody turns up to my funeral when I die? What if I die before we colonise the Moon and Mars? What if I never have children? What if I do have children but I can’t give them the life they deserve because of my poor mental health?
What if, what if, what if.
What if men don’t talk?