What if I had...

Sokar Rostau

Diabloii.Net Member
What if I had...

I was on a bus earlier today listening to a girl tell her boyfriend about her search for an apprenticeship and when I looked out the window I saw a light plane. This triggered the memory of when I was 20 I was offered an apprenticeship at a flight school in Sydney. I turned the job down because I was getting paid $400 a week in the job I had at the time, and the pay for this job was only $140pw PLUS flight training. I would have suffered a huge paycut, but at the end of four years I would have been not only a qualified pilot, but a flight instructor as well, with hundreds of excess flight hours under my belt to go towards a heavy commercial or helicopter license.

That got me thinking about how different things would be now, ten years on, had I taken that job. What would I be doing now, and what would the last decade have held for me? Would I have maybe gotten a job on a commercial airliner and travelled the globe? Maybe I'd be working for the Royal Flying Doctor Service or flying a skydiving plane, or flying tourists over the Great Barrier Reef. Maybe I would be a destitute pilot that spends every spare cent on keeping his plane in the air to the detriment of the mortgage etc. I would certainly know totally different people and more than likely live in a different city (but that's not a certainty). Would I be nothing more than a mangled corpse in a pile of twisted metal?

Strangely, this led also to me thinking about "destiny". I don't mean the destiny of religion, but the idea of people having a "calling" and being therefore "destined" to be involved in something. According to family members (I can't remember it... ) I started reading at age two and was reading full length books by age five. I remember being intensly interested in dinosaurs at that time and when I was seven I told my teacher she was wrong that we didn't know how the dinosaurs died and that many dino's were actually related to modern birds. Now at that age I was too young to know this stuff for certain, but they rang true to me and it is only now, almost 25 years later, that those things are scientific mainstream I knew this stuff within three years of the initial research, so I must of been reading some pretty "cutting edge" books at the time. My interest in dinosaurs introduced me to early man and my focus switched to archaeology and I've had a strong interest since in the subject since that time. Through everything else I have done, I have come back, in one way or another, to history, especially archaeology. Had I taken that job at the flight school, would I be taking archaeological recon photos in South America or Central Asia?

This in turn got me thinking about other "what ifs". How particular events/situations in my life have shaped me in some way and what effect doing/not doing something in the past would have changed where I am now. It made me realise that there are a lot of things in your life that have sometimes profound effects no matter how (in)significant they may seem at the time.

Had I not been hit by a car at age 16 and lost half of a front tooth I would have a completely different smile and have had better self-esteem in High School. How might that have effected my life? Would I have become some attention seeking "life of the party" kind of person? Would I have ended up taking a totally different direction because of a simple event such as this?

What effect would getting a drivers license have had on my life? Apart from the obvious reliance on public transport, would I have maybe gotten a job as a pizza delivery driver or something? What about the different people I would have met if I was a driver instead of a passenger in my clubbing days? What about the chances of being in a major accident?

If, instead of working as a paralegal, I had studied law when I was supposed to and become a solicitor, I would certainly be financially better off, but would I hate my job? Would I be pursuing archaeology now? Even if I realised that that was what I wanted to do, would I have the ability to switch from a law career to one in history? Would I turn around, at age 60, and drop a successful career as a solicitor or barrister to follow up on history?

If I had made my feelings known to my first love, instead of her best friend (one of my greatest regrets), would I have ended up marrying her? Would we then still be married now, or would we have been divorced a few years down the track? How might that have effected my career path, circle of friends and knowledge base?

Had I not joined the Army Cadet Corps when I was 14 and had a 1/0 flattop (shortest possible on top, bald on back and sides) for almost four years, would I have ever grown my hair long, and would it still be halfway down my back like it is today? How might that have effected my career path/circle of friends etc.? Just last Thursday we had Oktoberfest at the UniBar. I got there at about 5pm, but some of my circle had been there since 11am. There was a beer promotion on where you got a stein and one guy had 16 of them by 6pm and was incredibly drunk. When the bouncer asked him to leave he looked at me in my leather jacket and long hair and I didn't think anything about it until a friend told me later in the night that she convinced him not to throw me out as well, because I hadn't even finished my first beer - according to her, the bouncer wanted to eject me because I have long hair and didn't look like a 'desireable' type of person. Has this happened to me before? I don't know, but it might have.

Okay, I know this is a long post, but I wasn't obsessing over it all day, only thought about it for half an hour or so. But it's interesting to think of how things might be different because of a decision taken, but also just how much there would be no change.

Do any of you know what direction things would have taken had you chosen a different path?

Think about it.

Let's say that on the night you lost your virginity there was competition for you. You ended up losing it a week later, at the next party, to the same person, but because your partner slept with your competition at the first party they gave you an STD. What if you had lost your virginity a year earlier/later to a completely different person? How might this have impacted on you?

If you had not gone on that fishing/hunting trip with your friends that time and had therefore not been in the car when it crashed on the way back, how different would your life be? Would the car have even crashed? Would the crash have been worse had you not been there?

If you had worn different clothes that day you met a particular person what impact, good or bad, might that have had?

If you had voiced your first impressions about another person when you first met, would they be your best friend/partner years later?

Had you not decided on the spur of the moment to go to a particular party, would you have ever met your current partner at all? Had you decided to go to another party years earlier, would you have hooked up with your partner that much sooner?

Is there any particular moment(s) in your life that has, or might have, made a significant change in the course of your life (that you can see)? Is there something that may have led you down a different career path or to a different girl/boyfriend, something that, had you taken the other option, would have changed your personality or circumstances for better or worse?

I'm not fishing for a "great regrets" thread here. If you had said/done something different at one moment your life might be completely ****ed up now, rather than comfortable. What are some of your experiences like this? I'm also curious about your reaction to "destiny" (quotation marks to partially seperate from religious overtones). Is it possible that no matter what you do, there is a good chance you will end up doing that one thing that some people label as a "calling"?

EDIT: Wow, this is long, even for me...

Ash Housewares

Diabloii.Net Member
I read the whole thing, a very interesting thread, but I try to avoid introspection, these lines of thought can be dangerous and I'm too unhappy to want to delve further into what I've done wrong. On the other hand, there is a certain curiousity to how little things might've changed, I wonder how different I would be if I took time to think about the consequences of my actions, might I go forward with more daring plans? or would I live in fear of potential regrets?


Diabloii.Net Member
You should have joined the Flying Doctors mate, the whole world has seen the show. You could have been famous. The world could have remembered your name.


The only one (for now) that I'll relate is this:

In my first week of university, being the dorky frosh from a small town, I was walking down the street, going back to my apartment. I saw a girl walking towards me, thought she was pretty hot. I struck up a conversation with her. That brief conversation led to a longer conversation, a meal at her apartment that she was sharing with her cousin, and choosing courses together.

Her cousin is the key part of the above paragraph. She was in one of the classes that the initial girl and I had chosen, and we all sat together. Three weeks later, her cousin and I went on our first date. Last month was 14 years that we've been together.

All for the want of striking up a conversation. :cool:

Dammit. I just realized, I should have kept my mouth shut! :jig:


Diabloii.Net Member
Not much, I've spent most of my life studiously avoiding doing anything. Almost nothing affects me and I can't see anything the world has to offer me, so I can't imagine anything having much of an effect. Well, except bad things like catching an STD, what the hell kind of question is that?

I don't believe in destiny, I do sometimes feel like the universe is a joke at my expense though.


Diabloii.Net Member
dondrei said:
Not much, I've spent most of my life studiously avoiding doing anything. Almost nothing affects me and I can't see anything the world has to offer me, so I can't imagine anything having much of an effect. Well, except bad things like catching an STD, what the hell kind of question is that?

I don't believe in destiny, I do sometimes feel like the universe is a joke at my expense though.

Party pooper. :tongue:

Interesting thread though... I've been thinking about this stuff a lot lately. And by a lot, I mean... I usually do a lot of introspection, but I've been going deeper than usual of late. I'm kind of at a crossroads in my life, one of those defining moments that, in five, ten years I'll look back and wonder what would have happened if I'd taken the other path.

I'll start with the one that I think had the biggest impact, though. When I was in grade one, I was actually a pretty popular guy. I got along with most of my classmates, didn't get picked on, all that kind of stuff. I was invited to one of their birthday parties, and we were playing a party game. I got upset because I thought someone was cheating, made a big stink about it, and ultimately, was labelled a crybaby. After that happened, I always had to live with the crybaby label (one that, admittedly, fit me rather well for the next few years), and things built until I was being constantly teased by everyone. By grade two I'd be an outcast, frequently working in the hall by choice, or having a separate desk. Later grades would see that develop into full-blown geekhood, complete with games of Magic : The Gathering and Pokemon in high school. That one party, ultimately, shaped the entire path my life has been on - if I hadn't whined then, then today I might be a very popular person.

Then there are the more recent choices that I made... this one is a conscious choice that I made in August/September of 2003. At that time, I was still a virgin, and had two women online that were interested in me, Ashleigh and Cat. I'd known Ashleigh longer, but a number of the claims she made were a little far-fetched for me to believe. She wanted to meet me - she actually wanted to send a limo up to pick me up and drive me to where she was. I turned that down because it sounded far too fishy. Cat also wanted to meet me, and nothing she'd told me gave me any reason to disbelieve her. So, early in September, I flew out to Alaska to meet her. I lost my virginity while I was there, and ultimately, Cat would become my wife, and now my ex wife. Ashleigh was mortified, and she stopped talking to me at all until recently. I often have wondered what would have happened if I had decided to let Ashleigh send that limo.

Now, I stand at a similar crossroads today. Ashleigh is back in my life, and she's attracted to me still - more than ever, actually. I have a girlfriend, Dawn, who I yet only know online. Things have been waning between Dawn and I, as our relationship has been going for nearly two years now and we haven't yet met in person. Ashleigh, however, now lives close enough that she can come up for weekend visits. I've already made my decision... I'm going to dump Dawn, and pursue Ashleigh, as she came up last Wednesday and we spent some time together. If nothing else, there's physical chemistry there, we didn't have enough time together to find out any more than that. Once I dump Dawn, I have no doubt that Ashleigh will move in and fill that void - and I know that I will always wonder what would have happened if I hadn't left Dawn behind, no matter where things with Ashleigh end up going.

Ron Burgundy

Diabloii.Net Member
You probably made the right choice... Not getting into commercial aviation that is. It's not all it's cracked up to be. You make dick all when you first start out and airline salaries are falling like Wal-Mart prices. I mean, don't get me wrong, flying is wicked awesome, but the industry is a son of a *****. Not to mention all the side effects of being a commercial pilot, such as alcoholism and AIDS.


Diabloii.Net Member
I've been my best teacher over the years, good or bad. I feel it's worth a look back prior to looking ahead.



Diabloii.Net Member
Just be careful you don't run to catch your train but miss it by a mere fraction of a second, because then you'll create an alternate reality where you get home in time to catch your significant other cheating on you. But on the plus side in that reality you get a better haircut.


Diabloii.Net Member
this is a very interesting thread :)

i dont think ive had an experience that i can say "what if..."
maybe i have, but i cant remember it.

what if i hadnt eaten all that pizza x_x


Diabloii.Net Member
Ive felt that way too. But when I look back I think what I've gained so far has outweighed what I've lost.

And I've lost quite a bit.


Diabloii.Net Member
yah what if i stayed in iran instead of moving to canada!!!

I dont speak tha langauge very well ,lefted the university halfway through back home.now ,I am, graduating with sixty something average .I think about thoese If statments every day.