The Road You Didn’t Take

brass ringMost of you know, my husband and I met as teenagers and while we had a very serious and close relationship, we did not marry.  28 years (a Saturn cycle) later, we had a second opportunity and this time we grabbed the ring together.

While we both realize we go forward from this point we do talk a fair amount about those decades in between and last night my husband told me he thinks if we’d have married, we’d have had 5 or 6 kids.  Can you imagine? Instead, he had a vasectomy when he was about 22.

With Saturn in Libra, we are currently in process of straightening out our relationship lives.  We’ve just got to put things right the best we can but is mind-boggling the repercussions of the choices you make.

Was there a major on (or off) ramp presented to you in your lifetime that you opted out of or ignored?  How do you feel about that now?

18 thoughts on “The Road You Didn’t Take”

  1. I think I presented somebody with an on ramp that is being opted out of. I don’t think there has been one that I have ignored so far.

  2. Wow, how timely Elsa! I’ve been thinking about this very thing..
    It was 19 years ago today I realized I would never finish my PhD. The reason? Validation of a suspicion: I was pregnant.

    Backstory: I voluntarily left my research program due to a “difference of opinion” with my major professor. (I already had a M.S., so there was only 1 paper and my thesis defense in the way of getting the degree). I had every intention of finishing with another professor – may have taken awhile longer, but it would be worth it to me. Seems like the harder I looked, the less likely it was going to be to find someone to work for. I chalk this up to “karma”.
    I was in the process of figuring out my next move, when I did the home pregnancy test and, surprise!, it was positive. So, I took time off to have my son and just chose not to return to finish.
    Regrets? Not really. I’ve done so many things I couldn’t have done if I were stuck in a lab doing research. But this time of year I think back to that day when I found out I was going to be a mother, and wonder what kind of Life I would be leading if I had gone back and finished the degree..

  3. Yes–leaving home at 16. I don’t often think about it (my mother does enough of that for the two of us).
    Leaving gave me the freedom I needed to grow into myself. My parents were very controlling people, I just could not bear it. And I hate to say it, but I think of the other end of the scale (an older sibling, who had to be evicted at 28) and I think–I am glad I left, even if it caused my parents deep pain.

  4. Same situation as you, Elsa. My husband and I had a serious relationship as teens, married other people, had kids, divorced years later and got together again 28 years after first meeting. Many of our discussions center around “what if” and “if only” and that sort of thing. Tons of regrets and we’re trying to stop the endless circling and focus on our new lives/our future together. It’s tough though when we’re constantly surrounded by the “repercussions” of not having married all those years ago.

  5. On my mind as well…..

    In high school, I was a musician, learning guitar and singing. Tried to make a couple of groups work, and they didn’t. I still think a lot about where I would have been had I kept up with the guitar and singing. Life got in the way, and I spent a lot of time just trying to survive, and digging up all the hurt places.

    About six years ago, I realize in retrospect that a musician friend was reaching out a bit – looking for a personal relationship. I was too exhausted dealing with a toxic house and sick animals, and didn’t have a clue…..He ended up getting married 6 months later. Sounds corny, but we made some terrific music together. I wonder about it.

    Now, with my aunt’s house getting cleaned up, my throat isn’t sore anymore (after months and months), and all I can think about the past two days is…..
    I want to SING. I watch the “Flash Mob” vids and just want to stand on a table in the middle of a mall and cut loose.

    I’ll be getting the guitar out this afternoon…..

  6. I haven’t hit this point yet of having a ramp that I didn’t take. Unless you count not driving, but realistically I was just not up to getting a license with the people resources I had at the time (i.e. crazy yellers).

    I do feel the off-ramp coming up in a few years, so I am freaking out and trying to figure out how to get myself ready for when that comes so that I am literally able to take that exit! (Driving metaphor is very literal for me!)

  7. I almost married a man ten years older than me. He was swell, we got on like a hand in glove, the family loved me and I them.

    I was introduced at the family reunion as the future daughter-in-law.

    I just wanted to pass algebra.

    It ended that fall.


  8. i always wonder where life would have taken me had i went to college in NYC where i really wanted to go instead of staying an hour and half drive from my family…what if…

    4th house, mars in cancer.

  9. The road I opted for has a ton of happiness along with an indescribeable amount of sadness.

    There’s no guarantee that this would be different had I opted for another path.

    I’m trying not to get caught up in the thought of “maybe”.

  10. I’ve been caught up in the idea of “maybe”, realizing that I could have just made a whole new set of mistakes down those roads, and be feeling the “what if” no matter what. I hate having regrets, the main one being the amount of confidence that I lost in myself and others.

  11. Avatar

    Had a few on ramps and off ramps… One I didn’t take and to this day, feel a twinge of regret and that was being offered a chance to study at UC Berkeley and having to turn it down b/c I couldn’t afford to live in the Bay Area with my three kids… I missed the chance to get my PhD… One off ramp I don’t regret taking was divorcing my abusive first husband. I look at him today and I am positive if we’d stayed together, I would have committed suicide…… Glad I exited his path when I did…

  12. Too many to list!

    My life has been full of changes of direction and I’ve spent too long wondering what might have been if I’d stayed there, married him, returned to the country instead of the city after my divorce etc etc etc. I’m very aware of how much major life paths can turn almost on a whim

  13. I tell myself everything happens for a reason. No matter how bad the mess I’m going through seems to be (and it gets dark), I can just imagine any situation 1000x worse in some way if, whatever happened didn’t happen exactly the way it did. Like the butterfly effect but with time instead of distance.

  14. With an abusive father in the house, at 16 I ran away and stayed with a 23 year old man (it was either this guy or my dad in my bed). Dad found me, came and beat the crap out of 4 men. He was charged and before the trial his lawyer had me in his office alone and asked me why I had run away (my parents had told him that I was upset about a curfew). I took quite some time to ponder the situation before I answered – I wasn’t sure that the rest of my family would back me up and wondered if we would be put into foster care where it could be worse. I lied and said it was about the curfew. I have often wondered what the path would have been if I had told the truth, especially since my brother, who received the worst of my dad’s abuse (diagnosed as schizophrenic at 13), committed suicide 3 years ago (4 years to the day after my dad died – we had lost contact with my bro for 25 years and when dad was dying my brother returned hoping to get dad’s blessing and acceptance. It didn’t happen – he was told he was still just taking up space in the world.)Though I ponder, I don’t regret. It won’t change a thing, and I did the best I could at the time.

  15. Jokingly, I say, “If I married each time I was asked, I would be divorced three times.” Never marrying has changed my life compared to many women I know who did and had children. As an Aries, I always wanted my freedom and because of sad family circumstances I grew up strong and independent. I would like to meet a good caring man, however I doubt if I could ever marry him. Then again, knowing what I know about myself today is far different from knowing very little in my teen and twenties. Maybe I would.

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