Saturday, September 26, 2009
Wasted Regrets and Parallel Universes
About three nights ago I had a dream that I was trying to drive home to Illinois from college in Iowa, a route I actually took for four years, but in my son's blue peddle car. In my dream, I called my now husband to tell him I'd lost track of my good friend and roommate, who was also driving home, albeit in her silver Dodge and presumably making much better time. I stopped for a snack at a gas station and got a few snickers as I pulled my peddle car into the lot. And I remember it was getting really dark and I wasn't sure if Highway B would take me all the way home. Someone at the station asked "Are you really driving THAT??!!"
The next morning I was telling Greg, my husband, about the dream and he suggested it probably had to do with my blog. And of course, after thinking about it, genius man was right;-). And dream analysis is SO not his right brained thing.
But I think he hit on it. I'd talked to my friend that day about my blog, which she hasn't had time to read as she's been involved in a big litigation case.
She and I graduated law school the same year after being college roommates. She has had huge success in her career, one of the first women partners in a very prestigious firm, making a not small fortune, and being in the papers regularly, usually with yet another honor or award. And she's earned every single accolade with hours upon hours upon hours of life energy.
When I was in high school, I graduated with a number of awards from our small school. My dad came to the awards ceremony, and I still remember him standing up and clapping every time they announced my name. Now it was quite something for him to even have been there as his business kept him from attending many school events, but the fact that he stood up each and every time I was awarded, really hit home somehow.
The years went on and included a graduate degree from Stanford and my dad keeping his "Stanford Dad" mug full of pens and pencils on his Goodwill desk in the office of the Redi-mix plant that had taken the majority of his hours, but paid him handsomely.
Many years later, in my darker moments, I wonder if he's just a tiny bit disappointed that the daughter of the man who never got to graduate from his own high school and who paid many of the steep tuition bills chose to be a part-time stay-at-home mom and a part-time teacher of evening law classes and not a Congresswoman or at least making the local papers for trials she won? Though happy in my life, have I in some ways not made the most of the opportunities I was given?
And my dear friend, who did take that route, though also happy and truly proud of all she has accomplished, has admitted in her darker moments she fears a future tombstone that will say simply, "A really good lawyer who made a lot of money." End of story.
I saw Oprah's interview of Whitney Houston. The "Voice" talked about years, literally years, she spent in a haze of drug use and of the tumultuous marriage she shared with Bobby Brown. When asked about regrets, she said she didn't live that way. She looked back at the good times and laughs in her relationship with appreciation, and realizes that the sadness and insaneness got her to where she is today. They got her to a better place. I think I need to channel a little Whitney sometimes....
I have friends with deep sorrow that they never married, friends with unhappy marriages who regret they didn't choose differently, and divorced friends who were walked out on or walked out and wish it could somehow all be done over.
Some physicists have postulated that there is a parallel universe. Fred Allen Wolf writes: If the parallel universes of relativity are the same as those of quantum theory the possibility exists that parallel universes may be extremely close to us, perhaps only atomic dimensions away but perhaps in a higher dimension of space-- an extension into what physicists call superspace. Modern neuroscience through the study of altered states of awareness, schizophrenia, and lucid dreaming could be indications of the closeness of parallel worlds to our own.
If so, maybe I am going to court this Monday in my Porsche convertible in a new suit chosen for me by my personal shopper Majhuba and maybe my friend will be serving dinner to the kids in the 1970's bi-level and looking out the windows to her garden. I hope we have enough sense in that universe to simply nod at the other possibilities, appreciate the joys that are our own lives, and get on getting on;-).
P.S. Ready to hit some more dollars and cents savings on Monday! Thanks for letting me share the other stuff;-). Eileen