Jonathan Swift’s “A Modern Proposal” St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin

Being the choices I’ve made took me some time to understand.  The concept took a while to mature, but it finally made some sense to me once I accepted it and stopped trying to prove it didn’t apply to me.  I’ve been thinking of the phrase more approaching the end of my novel.

The concept is most prominent during these final chapters because I have to tie up all loose ends trying to emphasize the message I intend.  To make those things happen, it’s necessary to show how choices characters made throughout the novel brought them to the final moments of the story.  Thinking of the characters’ journeys caused me to think of and to see the parallels in my own life.

I believe that choices are living, breathing entities.  As such, once making a choice it’s born, has a life span, and has to play out its life—good or bad—before I learn its affect in specific areas of my life.  If I attempt to circumvent, stop, or re-direct its life span in some way other than is part of its natural course, my life feels miserable and things don’t proceed well.

On some level I believe part of me understood that principle because many times I found myself taking particular action because it felt “right,” not because I wanted to do it.  For example, my third marriage—from my perspective—was a sham.  I’d married him because I felt I needed to set right perceived wrongs I’d done to him.  But, after we married, I felt conflicting objectives flowing throughout me, but stayed married anyway.  Those objectives, in turn, required making further choices.

On the one hand, I chose to atone my wrongs.  On the other hand, I chose to honor the vows I’d taken. And additionally those two choices conflicted with my action overriding my desire not to be married at all.  How did I align my emotions, feelings, and happiness with the conflicting choices I’d made?

It was these moments in my life that directed the tides of who I’ve grown to become.  I understand, after living through, indeed surviving, my immature folly.  Today, I believe it really doesn’t matter which choice I make or don’t make as long as I follow my inner guide.  A guide that, as I think I’ve mentioned here before, will never lead me astray.  It will only lead me to my destiny whatever that may be.

For me, I fulfilled all three objectives of my choices.  It wasn’t easy being torn in three directions, but I’d made the choices and was responsible for their fulfillment.  It was an extremely complex, confusing five years in my life.  After those five years, I felt I’d learned all I needed to know from those choices and I moved on.  I moved on with many lessons I’d learned and put them in my life-actions arsenal.  And, I sustained only minimal feelings of guilt and/or self-reproach accomplishing the objective of my choices.

It’s only when I tried circumventing, ignoring, or welshing on choices I’ve made that I suffered guilt, remorse, or ill-will.  Honoring and/or ignoring the lessons of the choices I make comprise the bulk of who I am today.  Admittedly, my life has been one that has followed no traditional path and has probably been more complicated or convoluted than many.

But my life has also been full of adventures, errors, mistakes, joys, and gladness.  And analyzing the life I’ve lived, it has provided me some wisdom to put in my life-actions arsenal for living.  And, I’m learning, I gained knowledge allowing me to delve into the psyches of characters in my novel.  I guess the pain, heartache, joys, mistakes, and all the rest in the end have been worth it.  I suppose I’ll know relative to my novel once I find a publisher, huh?  Stay tuned.

Til next time, Ciao