Monday, October 15, 2007

If you decide to...

Remember those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books? Developed in the 1970's, designed to put the reader in the pilot's seat, becoming both protaganist and author at once. Choose your own adventure books offer alternate story endings as the reader sees the story fit. They prompted the reader with the phrase, "If you decide to" stay and fight the dragon turn to page 7, "If you decide to" run home, crawl into bed and cuddle your blankie ... turn to page 91. Hardly "invented" in the 1970's, merely published. For haven't we always been choosing our own adventure?

Remember those college applications? "If you decide to" go to Humboldt State -- turn to page 17 ... There you may become an oceanographer, a poet, a developer of alternate energy sources. "If you decide to" go to University of Colorado -- turn to page 76 ... There you may become an engineer, a business student, a yoga instructor."If you decide to" throw all of the applications in the garbage and join a band -- turn to page 43. But perhaps we would have come to our destination regardless.

There are these crossroads each day; should I eat Cheerios or scrambled eggs, drive the freeway or the coast, give in to the kids 3rd request for fruit snacks. We choose. Maybe nothing in our future really was affected by that choice.

Then there are the bigger adventures. The choices I have made, have yet to make, could have made differently. Dare I expose that ugly word "regret?" What about "fate?" "Destiny?" Or should I just turn the page and say, this is the adventure I have chosen. This is the ending I was looking for.

Admit it: You cheated here and there. You turned to page 17, 76, AND 43. You wanted to see what happened before you chose, right? Did the dragon win? But at some point, we have to commit to the page, close our eyes and believe. It's too hard to keep track of the alternate endings and consequences of each.

So here I am, choosing my own adventure. Some days, I wish I could peek ahead and get a glimpse of the pages ahead. But it takes the depth from the journey.

So here I go. "If you choose to" believe each moment exists entirely for the purpose of enjoying the ride...then it will be and the pages will begin to turn on their own.

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