It is sometimes a conscious choice, where one lives, other times it is part of a chain of events that carries one to where they settle. In my case it was the latter. A chain of events that started with my Mom reading the want-ads in search of a job for her wayward daughter. 'Homeworker for small cottage in Cape Cod' was what the ad read; I still remember it verbatim. She gave me the number and I called, an action that was to set me on the path that I have followed for 34 years. I begrudge none of those years, have learned how to live without regret and would not change a thing. That being said, I still wonder what I would be doing had things turned out differently, had the paperboy not delivered the paper that day so long ago...where would I be? who would I be? would I be a different person? would I be a me who just did a different job for my living? would I have the same personality, the same sense of humor?
There are so many variables that shape us as we grow: our chosen professions, our experiences, both good and bad, our friends, our family dynamic. My choice turned out to be a long hard and rocky road, filled with what I feel was sometimes too much pain, too much shame, too much feeling like I was a child pretending to be me, loneliness in a crowded room. But there was also enough joy in those years of tumult to get me through and on to the next adventure. Not that I did not stumble and nearly fall, the cliff's edge was dangerously close in those days. I do know this for sure: the friends that I have had and still have were my lifelines, they were (and are) what kept me from falling to the rocks at the base of the cliff.
I know now that I am not alone in these ponderings. I have realized over time that I am not all that original , that many people share the same questions. Never thinking about it, I always assumed that I was the only one who ever felt the feelings I had, they were mine and mine alone. Of course they were, but there were many other people with similar or far worse circumstances than mine and that we are none of us really alone or so unique in our thought processes. It is a shocking yet comforting realization.
Maybe that is why it is called the ' human condition '.