“The best thing about existence is that any moment in time can be a point of beginning to anything! In other words, every moment of our life holds a key for the unknown or the closed doors of new paths!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan
I love doors and when traveling, I love to take photos of them. They can be huge, austere, pretty, colorful, studded, gothic, graffitied, wooden or metallic, etc. Somehow, the older or worn out they are, the more beautiful they seem to me. Sometimes, a door can tell you a story or reveal its history. It peaks my curiosity of what lies behind it and its potential to lead someplace quite different. And much like in life, some doors lead to somewhere exciting and wonderful, while others lead to the mundane and ordinary.
Many years ago, a big door opened up for me. When I found out that my work visa for the US was approved, I was ecstatic. Finally, all my dreams will come true. With a pocketful of optimism and one luggage in hand, I left my home and country and entered a new chapter in my life. Since then, I have opened and closed a lot of doors. I have a nursing job in a hospital, a stable source of income that allows a comfortable lifestyle. I had gotten married and subsequently divorced. I am, however, presently in a nurturing partnership with a man who is giving me hope that a long-lasting relationship could be possible for me. I also have a strong support system consisting of friends I met through work and through other friends. Almost all of my family members have immigrated and living close by so I am now part of a family unit again. Most of all, I had traveled to places I’ve always dreamed of exploring. I have checked a few items off my long bucket list and still adding a few more. I’ve met people and experienced highs and lows that created such an impact (good or bad) on my life. In a nutshell, life is good. Not perfect by any means, but pretty darn good so far.
Now, I can’t help but wonder sometimes what my life would have been if I made divergent choices. What if I didn’t become a nurse? After all, it wasn’t what I’ve always wanted to do. Truth be told, I picked it because it was the only college course that offered a way out of our small city. I desperately wanted to be independent and live away from home. I also wanted to travel the world and going to nursing school was my stepping stone. One thing led to another and here I am. So the question is, where would I be if I opened a different door? What if there’s an alternative life that exists, one that followed a path not taken. What would it be like?
Humor me and let’s travel back in time, yeah?… If I think hard enough, I can see myself still single, working on a dead-end job that doesn’t pay much and still living in our city, probably with my parents and siblings. Or maybe, I became a nurse anyway and working in a local hospital, married to a nice guy with a stable job and have 3 kids. We’ll be living in a cozy house and maybe even own a car. Or alternatively, I became a successful journalist like I wanted to be, dating steadily but not in a hurry to get married. Maybe I have a place of my own and have a terrific group of friends to hang out with. Or… I could be a shrewd businesswoman, well-traveled but barely home and not having much success in relationships. Life indeed is a web of intersections and choices and sometimes, like some doors, because they are gaudy and ornate, they can usher us into the land of greed and money. But many can look unassuming and plain, yet hidden behind their simplicity one can find love and warmth.
Okay, I don’t mean to be waxing philosophies with you, guys. I’m just posing the question to make you think and imagine how things would have been for you (at this point in your life) had you not decided to abandon your childhood dreams, family, home or country behind for whatever reason (marriage, studies, reunification, job, exile), whether temporarily or permanently. If you are a transplant, how has living in your host country changed the course of your life? For the better or for the worse? Do you ever feel that somehow, you entered the wrong door and can’t find your way out of it ? Feel free to sound off and leave me your thoughts in the comment section.