I’ve moved a lot. Most of the places I’ve lived I’ve been able to find a way to appreciate and enjoy the culture.
This was not true of Southeastern Idaho. In order to avoid any culture bashing, we’ll just say the culture didn’t agree with me. Neither did the altitude or the omnipresent sky that felt like it was always pushing down on me.
There was one redeeming part of the northern desert for me, though. It was the people I worked with. Whatever was going on at home or in my community, my coworkers and bosses were a breath of fresh air. They were reasonable, logical and kind. I was extremely sad to leave them, although I knew I had to for reasons both in and out of my control.
Right before I left, I was helping in the movement of our facilities. It was a group effort, and I actually enjoyed the time we spent together doing manual labor and serious organizing. I was in one of my boss’s office, and noticed for the thousandth time that one of his degrees came from Hawaii. I knew I’d soon be leaving, so I thought I’d ask him about it. I love learning people’s stories.
He had gone to school partially in Hawaii, and on a whim decided to come up to Idaho with a group of friends.
I quickly compared and contrasted the two places in my head. I couldn’t help it. Screw it. I was leaving anyways. I asked, “Do you ever regret it?”
He gave me a confused look, as if I had asked one of the dumbest questions ever. “If I regretted it, I wouldn’t still be here.”
His answer stuck with me. I had been raised to understand that our actions have consequences, and you have to deal with the consequences. My boss’s answer that day opened up to me a whole new reality: consequences are inevitable, but if you don’t like your circumstances, you can change them. You can’t undo the past, but you can change your future. It influenced some of the hardest but best decisions I had to make over the next couple of years of my life.
Regardless of your circumstances, you alone have the power to change your life. While you can’t undo decisions you regret, you can change the path that those regrets have led you to. You can turn at or create the next fork, and change your own reality.