Todays Daily Prompt is: I did it my way.
Describe the one decision in your life where you wish you could get a “do-over.” Tell us about the decision, and why you’d choose to take a different path this time around.
When I read this first I smiled to myself and thought “I wonder what I would change?”
Maybe work harder in school? Then I would not have had to repeat my final exams in order to get into nursing?
But then I thought “No”, because if I’d not been in the year I was, I would not have gone away with my friends, and so I’d never have met my husband, my best buddy, nor had my four great children.
Maybe I’d have not taken that extra breath in the last swimming competition I’d entered, the breath that cost me qualification for the Olympics.
But then I thought “No” because not qualifying meant I gave up swimming, and had a lot more time to spend at home. That was the year we found out Dad had motor neurone disease. It was also the final year in which he could speak, walk, or function normally. It was comforting, after he died, to remember how much time we’d spent together.
Maybe I’d have listened closer to my friends worries about her young sons tiredness, and realised something more sinister was going on.
But then I think “No”, because I do not think it would have changed the final outcome. It would have only meant him being diagnosed two weeks earlier. His “normal” life ending earlier. That I do not regret.
Overall I was feeling very content with myself. A lot of patting myself on the back went on. Life was good, and my choices had been the right ones. Until I had a chance conversation. It led to me discovering a person I knew online, had been taught by the same swimming coach as myself. When I read that my heart sank. When did she swim? Was it after me? Yes it was.
Had anything happened to her?
Just at that moment my internet went down. My mind was spinning as I tried to get back online. What if she swam in the years after me and something had happened to her? Was she okay if it had? I felt physically unwell. I had never, ever felt guilty before, for not coming forward immediately, but now the reality of such a delay really struck me.
Eventually, after what seemed like an age, the internet reconnected and I discovered she was not affected. I felt relieved but the sense of responsibility remains. Don’t get me wrong I do not feel responsible for what he did, but I do know at least one of his later victims is a very unwell survivor. If I or the many before me, had come forward sooner, she and others would have been spared.
Maybe I was just a bit too sure of myself, to think there is nothing in life I would ever change.
Yes, of course there are things I would like to change, but for the most part, they are decisions I made, the consequences of which I can live with. However if I could turn back time, I have now decided there is one thing I wish I could change.
I wish I had spoken up six years earlier.
I also wish I had done a little research before speaking out, and discovered the names of any individuals who might have been more than a little mad at what this man had done to so many children. I then wish I had told these individuals my story, and maybe perchance, I’d have let slip the name of his place of work (and abuse). Perhaps these individuals would have gone to visit him and speak with him about what he had done. Maybe even pointed out to him the error of his ways!
But we cannot travel back in time and change the past in any way. I am fortunate that life has worked out very well for me and I am lucky that the many decisions I have had to make along the way seem to have been good ones. Maybe it is lucky that I did do it my way and that I cannot go back.
But…. I wish…..and as I do, I wonder, “If I could turn back time would he now walk differently?”