G and I were having a conversation last night about what I guess you could describe as “life chances”. G dropped out of school at 15 with no qualifications and worked for a few years in very low grade, poor paying jobs and then realised that this was not going to present many opportunities. So G went to college and got some Scottish Highers and then decided to go to university and got an undergraduate degree and then moved to London and did a Masters and then went on to study for a PhD. This was despite such support from G’s family such as comments like “why would you want to go to university? Don’t you want to get a job?”. I find it quite remarkable that G through a series of small decisions made what ultimately turned out to be significant life changes – and which also ultimately culminated in meeting me, which surely in and of itself proves that it was all worthwhile. But does also show that it is all downhill from here on in, as the high point of G’s life has now been reached.
Anyway, I digress… that does often make me think that I need to make more choices about what I want to do and achieve with my life instead of letting it just drift along. We also do have the ability to change and to start afresh and to do things that we might never have thought possible. But we also can let inertia overtake us and do nothing.
Every so often I quiz G about what made the difference and how it was possible to make such different choices about your life without any support or anyone really helping you to find the way and not really knowing what it will involve.
I am a fairly risk averse person and so do tend to shy away from things that feel somewhat unknown or that might have a negative side – even if they also have a very positive side as well. As William Shakespeare once wrote:
“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”
I still need to take that to heart.