Choose Your Own Adventure

While sending messages back and forth with a friend this morning, it struck me that life can be compared to a “choose your own adventure” book.

If you’ve never seen a choose your own adventure book, they were all the rage about forty years ago. You would read a passage from the book, leading to a decision for the reader to make about what the protagonist does next. Each potential action is listed out, with the page number to turn to in order to read what happens next.

Once you start thinking about the adventure book, you start wondering about the decisions you make during a typical day, week, month, or year. How might your life be different had you made different decisions?

I suppose this all loops back around to a book I received for my birthday – “The Midnight Library”, by Matt Haig. I have still to read it, but the synopsis is intriguing;

Nora’s life has been going from bad to worse. Then at the stroke of midnight on her last day on earth she finds herself transported to a library. There she is given the chance to undo her regrets and try out each of the other lives she might have lived. Which raises the ultimate question: with infinite choices, what is the best way to live?

I’m looking forward to reading it, and find myself wondering if the universe has a strange habit of doing what it was going to do, regardless of our choices. Perhaps we end up broadly where we were going to be, regardless of how we get there.

7 replies on “Choose Your Own Adventure”

And that’s the launch to one of the oldest debates…is there free will? I’m a believer in free will, if only because that makes each decision and scenario more livable, and ultimately, reversable (or at least subject to improvement.) As someone who, mid-life, chose different, it’s hard to see how my input wasn’t monumental to a new direction. And as I’ve aged, each decision becomes easier. Which path is most life affirming? Is it sustainable? What will bring me the greatest opportunity for learning? Will it make me happy?

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That still fits the idea that maybe we end up in the same place (although perhaps presented in an abstract manner) – such as “content”, but our route to getting there can be chaotic.

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