Sometimes I find myself pondering the ‘what if I never’ of life. Not in a melancholy way of the ‘what ifs’ and ‘never beens’, but in the joyful, gratitude-filled way of piecing together random decisions or situations that resulted in mind blowing, life changers.
I’m naturally a connector (proven by a bunch of different personality tests!) and I just love seeing how one idea or decision leads you down a completely unexpected path.
I recently put the question out into the world and asked for some other stories because, while I have so many examples, it was so much fun asking others to contribute. It was amazing how many people got excited just thinking about the randomness of life.
And I kind of love that.
It’s the essence of the Beauty of Life.
What if I never moved to Sydney to work in TV?
Oh so many things! I wouldn’t have met some of the most wonderful people who came my way via TV. I wouldn’t have realised that a career dream I’d been chasing since I was 15 wasn’t for me any more. I wouldn’t have started my blog to keep in touch with my family in Brisbane, which means I wouldn’t have connected with some inspiring bloggers in Sydney, which wouldn’t have led me to B School and coaching. They led me to leaving TV and becoming a coach, working with women to help them to reconnect with themselves and transform their lives.
SO many things came about as a result of moving here for a completely different reason and I love that.
Here are some of the amazing responses I got after putting the word out:
What if I never became pregnant?
I’ve always worked for other people, building up their businesses and helping others succeed, but if I never became pregnant, I wouldn’t have been afforded the opportunity to break away from the role I was very passionate about and build up something of my own. Looking back, the stars aligned with every decisions I made, the world opened up to show me amazing new ways of being in business and Event Head would never have evolved into what it has today.
What if I never got divorced?
If I had never gotten divorced, I never would have found my spiritual self because I would have spent the rest of my life living someone else’s dream.
What if I never started blogging?
I would have probably ended up your stereotypical accountant. Instead I have discovered my strong interest in digital marketing and met the amazing and inspiring people whom I’m lucky enough to call friends today!
Believe it or not, my “online besties” (yes, you can now make friends online and they don’t turn out to be a serial killer) are the ones that are constantly stimulating my brain, pushing me to work towards entrepreneurship, and building my own empire.
What if I never went back to law school?
If I hadn’t gone back to law, I would never have started teaching yoga regularly (which I did to pay the bills), which means I would never have discovered how much I love it and I wouldn’t have the job I’m in now. Such a great way to turn a negative around!!
What if I never had my trip to Thailand cancelled because of the Gulf War?
An odd thing to say, but it was due to this war and a series of spontaneous decisions that led me to meet my husband and father of my three children, over 20 years ago.
My sister and I were going on holiday to Thailand but the Gulf War meant the Australian Government issued a warning to avoid all non-essential travel to certain countries (Thailand being one of them). We cancelled our plans and jumped in a car with a friend’s brother, heading on a road trip from Melbourne to Byron Bay. The night we arrived in Byron, a long hair surfie came up to me and we started talking and, 23 years later, we’re still talking and living a great life together.
I’m so glad I…
– Chose that college (because even though I didn’t stay, I met my husband).
– Took that job (because even though I discovered it wasn’t the career I wanted, it help me find the right one).
– Bought that book (because when I read it, I came across this line that spoke to my heart and was just what I needed in that moment).
– Took the long way home (because I saw that incredible sunset through the tree branches arched over the road).
I love the way Katie flipped the concept on its head and, while the sentiment remains the same, it definitely makes it easier to keep it light and positive and regret-free!
She said that the idea of ‘What if I Never’ could get misconstrued or send you down a path littered with regret and missed opportunities so she chose to think of it ‘I’m So Glad I…’, which I liked better as well (so thanks, Katie, for your beautiful interpretation!)
I love the magnificent possibilities that are out there for us every second, based on the decisions we make, but – at the same time – completely out of our control.
All we can really do is keep making choices and believe that something wonderful is about to happen (because, why the hell not!?) My mum has always had the attitude that her life is great because she believes it to be, and I think we could probably all learn a little from that!
That doesn’t mean there isn’t difficulty in the joy, but relinquishing control of some parts of life is positively freeing.
I never get tired of hearing these stories (and the excitement that comes with them when people realise how random life really is). Please share your story in the comments below.
Love this Katherine!! I had the same conversation with another friend the other day, it began as a lament – why did I go back to law school for 6 months?? Turned into – if I hadn’t gone back to law, I would never have started teaching yoga regularly (which I did to pay the bills), which means I would never have discovered how much I love it and I wouldn’t have the job I’m in now. I love my current role, love teaching yoga and never could have dreamed I’d end up here. Asking yourself this question can be such a great way to turn a negative around!! xx