Monday, August 07, 2006

Sunday Scribblings: Who Else Might I Have Been?

If I had followed through on my childhood answer to, "So, honey, what do you want to be when you grow up?": A botanist.

If I had been accepted to my second choice destination for my high school student exchange instead of Brasil? The wife of a Venezuelan doctor, living in Caracas and speaking Spanish all day.

If I had been accepted to my third choice destination? A student in an Economics master's degree program in Hong Kong.

If I had gone back to high school after my exchange to finish my senior year instead of starting college right away? A graduate of an Ivy League college instead of the University of New Mexico (for the record - I don't regret this choice in the least).

If I had not gone to Rio de Janeiro for 1.5 years in business school? I wouldn't have met B. and Ricardo, my partners in the consulting firm and the boys responsible for my move to Mozambique.

If I had not been somewhat of a wild child during said time in Rio? I wouldn't have hooked up with Ricardo the night before moving back to the US in 2001, thus providing a great background story to our current relationship.

If I had not found journaling and art as a healthy channel for my emotions? Insane.

If I had stayed in New Mexico? An employee of Sandia Labs with 1 kid and another on the way.

If I had been accepted to get my PhD in Public Health at Berkeley? A feminist neo-hippie working to provide treatment to women living with fistulas in Nigeria.

If I had stayed in Austin, Texas instead of moving to Mozambique? A burned out but exceptionally well dressed employee of an NGO.

If I had been born in Afghanistan? A girl disguised as a boy, saving my earnings from picking poppies and plotting a way to move to Europe.

If I had let my fears get the best of me? A woman stuck in a bad relationship.

If I had stayed in Chimoio? A royal bitch.

If I had not adopted 2 kittens? Lonely, but with a much cleaner house.

If I had never come to Africa? Someone less cynical.

If money weren't a concern? A professional dancer, preferably modern, flamenco or salsa.

If I had been raised by different parents? A rebel.

If I had the chance to do it all over again? Twice as wise.

If I hadn't been through all the experiences I spilled in my "secrets" post last week? Honestly? I don't care. I LOVE the person I am now and wouldn't want to change for the world!


Alina said...

This is a great post Ali! So you wanted to be a dancer too, ha? Maybe we should put some group together you and me :)

As for the twice wiser part, loved it and wouldn't we all, given we could remember everything that would eventually happen?

Jemima said...

This is so nearly an excellent meme. I'm just thinking, can I adapt this? Can I make it tell the story of Me? A very accessible way into the prompt.

By the way, I've written pages in my journal and in my head for this topic, but can't find the guts to post anything. I'm not sure if this is bad (my internal censor) or good (not showing my guts just because I can.) We'll see.

paris parfait said...

Just beautiful post, Ali! I'm so happy you're the person you are, rather than who you might have been. Because otherwise, we might never had "met!" As for Jemima's idea about a great meme, she's right. Lovely writing, Ali, as usual.

Anonymous said...

i love what you did with this post, ali!!!

Kristine said...

I like this! Plus now I know more about you too.

Safiya said...

Very good meme. Ahh... wouldn't we all like to be twice as wise?

_+*A Elite in Paris*+_ said...

I was talking to someone about this yesterday: question - do you like the person you are today? and I answered: definitely? YES!

kerry said...

i just found your blog and read through some of your old posts. your secret # 3 has left me in tears... it is all to familiar and more honest than i have been capable of bringing myself to be. i would love to hear more about how you made that leap into pouring yourself into your creativity and writing and away from the food. i have swung on both ends of the spectrum to some degree and am right now in a very painful and shameful place of binge eating. and have recently found myself in that "too depressed to do anything to make up for it" stage. i am really craving some peace and freedom from this. i share that same secret desire to have that willpower of the eating disorder once again, and i am terrified of being on this end of it. do you have any energy to offer some of the ways you found yourself beginning to heal? i could use some tips... thank you for writing this incredibly powerful post, i needed to read it.

Amber said...

What a great job you did with this scribble! To think of all those doors we didn't walk through.. And what an interesting life!


Ali la Loca said...

~Alina - My fellow dancer, that's why I love Nia so much. It makes me feel like I professional dancer and I get all the joy of movement, plus a great workout! I think we shall definitely dance when we meet one day. hehehe.

~JVS - Modify away, my friend. I'll be interested to see what kind of meme you're able to get out of this.
As for the Sunday Scribblings, I think the important thing is that you consider the topic and do reflection and writing for yourself. Nothing mandates that you must share with the world in order for your contribution to be "valid".

~Paris Parfait - I'm glad I'm who I am today, too! And also thankful that we met. Looking forward to my tremendously long layover in Paris next month.

~Ruby and Kristine - Thanks!

~Safiya- Just wait to see what JVS is able to do with it. She's the queen of memes!

~Elite - I'm glad your answer is yes. Isn't it great to feel that you are happy with who you are?

~Kerry - I am so thankful that you found my blog. What I wrote in my "secrets" post originally was written with selfish motives: for my own healing and acceptance, for my own peace of heart, to feel my own courage and optimism. Now I see what a huge thing it has been for others, and I am even more grateful that I spilled my beans. Many people have come to me with "secrets" of their own, or just to say that the identify and thank me for being so honest.
I know so well what it's like to be in the clutch of disordered eating. During my morning meditation today I will send you thoughts of strength and peace. I will also send you an e-mail with more thoughts about how I used art and journaling.
Please know that you are not alone, and anytime you need to "talk" you can e-mail me.

Ali la Loca said...

~Amber - Yes, it's pretty amazing to think of all the doors we didn't walk through. Thanks for coming by!

la vie en rose said...

so many options and choices but somehow we always end up right where you need to be...

AnnieElf said...

I'm with jvs. I too thought of "lifting" these questions and creating a meme. Than I read her comment. Great minds think alike. LOL The end of your post was so inspiring. I love the total self-acceptance you expressed.

Rrramone said...

Another great post! Loved this, and esp your answer: insane. :-)

Me can relate.

Ali la Loca said...

~La Vie... - Yes, it's amazing how we manage to end up exactly where we are supposed to.

~AnnieElf - I'm so curious to see if you or jvs come up with a meme based on this. Please let me know if you do!

~Rrramone - Yes, what would we be without art, writing and creative outlets in general. I think insane only begins to caputure it...

Living Part Deux said...

What a thoughtful approach to what might have been. Any diversion from your path would have put you in a different place and thus made you a different person. The potentialities are overwhelming to contemplate, but peace in one's current situation is the greatest comfort.


Tomas said...

That was a solid post. i've been reading them backwards. Really this was great!