I wake up looking at an alternate universe. At the time I was deciding where to go to college, it was one of the biggest & most stressful decisions of my short life. I’ve survived, chosen, and found a lot more bravery and great experiences since then.
The night before college decisions were due, I was pacing the grocery store aisles in a nervous fervor, unable to choose between UBC and CalArts, trying to decide not just who I was and what I wanted, but who I was and wanted to be in the future. I chose well, I had amazing experiences and the challenging, experimental, break the rules and design your own path world of CalArts fit me well. I wouldn’t change much about my college experiences at CalArts and on foreign exchange (though I regret not finding time in my jam-packed schedules to join Gamelan).
But yesterday, on the Vancouver ferry crossing, I see downtown & Stanley Park, North Van, and the peninsula where the University of British Columbia sits. I had a feeling of home, so intense and so loving, only, I never did live here. I also understand the swelling feeling that there could be a very different me living there had I chose differently. Who would this alternate universe version of me be? Where would I be now? The thought grips me.
For a moment. But, instead of wondering about all the ways I would have changed, and where I would be now, I realize, I’m okay with not knowing who that alternate universe me would be. I’m confident that I’m the best version of me, and I want to keep having more experiences, not bemoan the ones I haven’t. Now, I think of the ones I haven’t–yet! had, but want to. I look forward, not back. I don’t regret.
As I gaze across the water, straight ahead lies the Vancouver peninsula UBC rests on. I know that one day, I would like to try my hand at living here, not because of what I missed out on before, but because of what can lie ahead. I don’t need a multiverse, I need one really, really good run.