I happened to see the questions for this prompt on Twitter, and immediately my mind started racing.
Have u been at a serious crossroads which has lead to where u r now?
We want to know what u think could have happened if you’d chosen the other door.
Can u relate to this?
So many times in my life I have stood before two doors and had to decide which to choose, as I knew choosing one would permanently close the door to the other road. However, all those doors wouldn’t have been there in front of me to choose from, had I chosen a different door when I was sixteen.
At 16 I was pregnant, and even before I turned 17, my daughter was born.
But, let’s backtrack a bit. Even though I have written about this before, I want to address it again. Looking back on it now, I recognize the two doors that were presented to me by life.
I always had to work hard in school. Where my brother could page through a book, write a test and get high marks for it, I had to start weeks before the test to review everything and study hard to sometimes even only just pass for a subject. Sometimes I had high marks (especially for Geography), but mostly my marks were average, but always good enough to advance to the next year. Apart from studying, I also participated in sports. We were all obliged to participate in athletics in the beginning of every school year, and one year I even broke a record for javelin-throwing, but athletics wasn’t really my sport. Gymnastics was. I started with it quite late (age eleven) and when I was fifteen I had an excellent year. I qualified for regionals, then for the provincial competitions and then I was allowed to go through for nationals.
The year after that I started preparing for my final school exams that would happen at the end of the next year. This penultimate year is known as one of the most difficult in a school career, because of these preparations. In each class I had the idea that everything was moving faster than I could. But not only with my academic work; also with my sport. I just couldn’t seem to get back on the level I was the year before. Nothing seemed to work out. Looking back on it now I might have been suffering from being overloaded the year before, but back then (beginning 80’s) this was not something anyone knew enough about. I pushed myself hard for my sport, training extra hours, and pushed myself hard for my school, studying longer and harder than I did before.
Then I flunked a test.
When I got that piece of paper back and saw the red circle around my mark, I thought I would die. That was the first time ever in my ten years in school that I flunked something. The shame. Oh. My. God. The shame! How could I tell my parents? Neither of them had completed their school, so they were adamant that we should complete ours. I panicked. Literally panicked.
And this is where those two doors were presented to me. I had to choose. Behind the first door there was the choice to tell my parents about my academics and my sport, and see whether there was a way they could help me find my balance again. Behind the second door was the choice to avoid the shame, to find a way to get out of school.
I chose the second door, and the first time ever I had PIV sex, I was pregnant.
Not once when those first two doors were presented to me did I think about the shame of getting pregnant. I panicked so hard about my test result that all rational thought left me. It was only when I realized that I was pregnant that I came to my senses and wonder what the hell I have done. Of course, then I had to tell my parents, and this was a different kind of shame. My rational thought had returned in such a way that I told my then boyfriend, the father of my daughter, that I wouldn’t marry him because I didn’t want to correct one mistake with another. He was allowed to stay in our life but he chose to disappear, and I raised my daughter by myself.
I really believe that every set of doors, every choice I had to make after that, were determined by those first two doors. What if I had chosen the other door? Chosen to tell my parents, and asked for their help? What if I had flunked the entire year? That wouldn’t have been a problem, age-wise, as I was always a year younger than my peers. Would my parents have been angry about the flunked test? Oh yes, they would, but they would have encouraged me to carry on.
If I had chosen that first door, I wouldn’t have had my daughter. I would also not have gone to university at the age of 17. I would probably have chosen a totally different study than I did. Back then I chose to become a PT teacher because I missed my sport so much, but before I flunked that test, all I wanted was to either get into astronomy or meteorology, as these were the parts of geography class I absolutely loved.
Would I have married my first husband if I hadn’t had my daughter? Not many men accepts a woman with a child, and that is something he frequently told me, that I should be happy he married me, because no one else would’ve wanted me. Would I even have had children if I hadn’t fallen pregnant that young? No one knows. I never was a girl who dreamed of getting married and having children. I sort of accepted that it would happen one day, but it never was a major desire.
I believe that every choice we make, whether it’s as simple as getting up in the morning or as complex as getting married or divorced, influences your later life. Life is a series of choices, and had I chosen the other door when I was 16, my life would’ve gone in a totally different direction, and I might never have met Master T.
Frankly, that’s something I don’t even want to think about…
© Rebel’s Notes