Over the weekend, I was catching up on some Greys Anatomy (one of my all-time favourite TV series,) and watched an episode titled ‘What If?’ I’ve always been a bit of a fatalist and it made me think about something that often crosses my mind… what if my life had been different?
Everybody has defining moments in life I believe and whilst they may not be dramatic, they all serve to influence the path we take. I’m always curious as to whether those moments, choices or not, would really affect the way life turns out, or if it’s fate. Would we find ourselves in the same places regardless of the moments in between.
Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors (1998)
My defining moment will always be losing my Dad. That might sound an obvious statement, but looking back, I think it changed my outlook on life, my personality, and went on to influence my choice of career. It was seeing my Dad after various trips to the specialists around the country that made me first think of medicine as a career and probably helped me to get my place in medical school too.
It’s wider reaching than that though. Before my Dad was ill we had such similar personalities that we argued a lot in terrible stand off’s of my Dad asserting his parental authority in the face of my youthful defiance. I firmly believe if I hadn’t had the unfortunate walk-up call that he wouldn’t always be there and life had gone on as normal, we might have continued to spar like that for years to come. I might have not only taken a different career path but have chosen to go much further from home for University, to achieve the independence I craved.
People often talk about regrets in life and it’s fashionable to say you have none, but the one thing I regret bitterly is that my Dad never met Pete. But if my Dad had been around and my life hadn’t taken me to medicine in Manchester, would there have even been a Pete for Dad to meet? And that’s when the fatalist in me kicks in. Some things in life feel so concrete, that it’s hard to imagine them not existing. I like to think however life had gone, I’d still have ended up with Pete, two halves of a whole.
That of course, is exactly how the episode of Greys turned out… Meredith gravitating towards Derek, Cali and Arizona’s eyes meeting, you get the idea. It left me thinking, how many of you have had a defining moment in life and have you ever wondered how different life would be if you had take different decisions or not experienced certain life events. Do you believe in fate?