In another life
This past weekend, I was driving around Minneapolis running errands, and I felt so blessed to be back in a city full of so many happy memories. But all of the sudden, while exiting off of I94, I had this sudden flash of what my life would have been like had I never moved to France. Like I had spent the past ten years in the Twin Cities and life was great. It only lasted an instant, but it was so realistic, looking at myself in an alternate university where I decided not to follow Fab back to his homeland. It was almost ironic because that was a question I asked myself a million times during my early years in France - would I be happier in the US without Fab? Or was it worth it to be unhappy in France but in love?
Maybe all of this was brought up by a recent assignment for my masters program. We had to write a "portrait" of a classmate, as a way to give us practice writing executive biographies. I paired up with a girl I have become quite close with, and we met up for lunch a few weeks ago at La Defense to exchange life stories.
It's actually an interesting exercise - 1) taking a look back at everything that brought you to where you are today and then 2) seeing how it is perceived by others. It was pretty wild trace the chain of events that led to me living in France, of all places. And really, how often do you sit down and reflect about each of the key events that shaped your life?
The first one for me was the time I spent in Finland - it really opened my eyes to other cultures and non-US viewpoints. So much so that when I came back to the US, I sought out other foreigners in order to keep that connection, and that is how I met Fab. As we all know, that's how I ended up in France. Had I not lived in Bretagne, I would never have heard about The Company, and then I wouldn't have had the chance to travel the world like I have. And then of course there is the moment where I had to decide whether or not to stay in France or move back to the US (and the subsequent move to Paris, where I met C).
But it's crazy to think that I wouldn't be where I am today had I made a different decision at any one of those stages. I mean, sometimes you are conscious of that you are the middle of making a life-changing a decision but other times they just kind of sneak by unnoticed, and you only realize much later that it was a total game changer....