One Conversation Can Change Your Life — But Only If It’s Real
One Decision can Change Everything — But Only if You Act
Last weekend, I met a woman who sat next to me on a patio overlooking Coronado Bay and San Diego in the distance. As we both soaked up the sun, she mentioned she was 44. Me too. She mentioned she wanted kids, even froze her eggs years ago — me too. Dr. Schoolcraft? Me too. She wanted to be a mom — me too — but wasn’t sure about the timing.
That part I was sure about. As soon as my husband’s oncologist gave us the “all clear”. She, like me at the time, was dealing with some pretty heavy stuff and wouldn’t it be better to resolve it before becoming pregnant?
Maybe. Probably. Parenthood doesn’t really work like that. Neither does marriage now that I think of it.
Maybe if she wasn’t already 44. Perhaps if she hadn’t had the foresight to freeze her eggs (how did she know?). Maybe if her husband’s condition was more predictable or certain. Possibly if her likelihood to conceive was guaranteed. Maybe if deciding to become pregnant meant instantly becoming pregnant. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.
Maybes keep us locked in limbo.
Watch this Gary Vee video. It’s pretty intense. There’s language.
The primary takeaway is this: decide, act, move on, don’t look back. You can never really know everything you need to know to make the best decision, so just choose and live your life. Take your wins or take your losses, but stay in motion and in pursuit of something amazing.
Many years ago, my husband’s childhood friend decided to commit suicide. He was walking on campus to do it and someone, a stranger, stopped him and invited him to church. What?! How? Why? He wasn’t religious, but he took it as a sign. He didn’t kill himself, and that one invitation changed everything.
At the same conference last weekend, I met another woman. She married her high school sweetheart, the love of her life. A few years later, he, like my husband, was diagnosed with cancer. Only he didn’t make it. There was no happy ending. He died. The love of her life died and she still…exists, goes to conferences, and carries on. How?
Gary Vee says we can’t know our other paths, that there’s no way of knowing where a different choice would have led, but when I looked into her eyes, I saw my other life and it shook me to the core.
If I didn’t have my husband, I wouldn’t have my children, and without my children, I wouldn’t be me, so what’s that mean?
I felt myself shatter, but only for an instant. It was as much of the devastation as I could allow myself to feel. 10 years later, it’s still too soon. I asked her why she isn’t teaching others to survive, and she said she can’t revisit that dark place either.
Like me, if she allows herself to feel it for more than a split second, it sucks her under. Only it’s infinitely worse for her because it’s real.
But what if she didn’t help others while they were drowning? What if she supported the ones who fought for air and whether it was months or years later when they resurfaced, she would be waiting with a life preserver to say, “if you’re ready to live, I know how to do that, and I can show you too.”
The only thing I’m hedging against is regret. I’m done playing frivolous, or worrying about what others think about me and my choices. I’m done holding back, playing small, or waiting for perfect conditions. I want to live my best life now, and that means deciding, acting, doing, and saying the hard stuff. I can do hard things. You can too.