A Chance Day

“The past is equated with fate. A single chance day may unavoidably alter the course of a lifetime, and what occurs after that day will never resemble what went before.”
-Goldie Morgentaler
Every action has consequences, but some are far more sever than others. While “consequence” has a rather negative connotations, (as does “sever,” but that is aside from my point) I am thinking of it in its pure form, as within a cause and effect chain, where one action causes another.
Some events operate in a chain, where seemingly small things cascade throughout a day. While these can sometimes have harsh consequences, the chain often ends at the end of the day. Maybe a week. And all can be forgotten.
Then there are those days in which nothing of consequence seems to occur. A mundane day, much like the many before, all bleeding into each other, indistinguishable except in name. It is usually on days like those that that minute events occur, unimportant decisions are made, which lead to lifelong changes in trajectory. You don’t always realize right away. It is not as if you wake up the next morning and suddenly realize what happened. No, time elapses, you push away unpleasant memories, or altogether naturally forget, and that is usually when you are reminded that there are always consequences, and for every action, there is an effect.
I can’t help thinking about all the decisions I have made in life, big and small, and how they effected me. Wondering if things would have been different if I had altered my path. The big important things are hard to forget, were often premeditated, and well thought out (or at least as well as I could think at the time). But it is the small things I wonder about. The things that seemed so unimportant at the time. Or the things which were so familiar, and similar to all other things I had done routinely. Once in a while the realization sets in right away. As if waking in the morning and asking “Oh, God what have I done?” And other times it can take years before you make that same exclamation, when the magnitude of everything sets in.
Ironically those realizations are of little consequence. Much like Cher, I cannot turn back time. Yet, unlike Cher, I am not trying to find a way. Even in the most horrific events there is good which can be found. It is there, waiting to be grasped at, highlighted. Yes, one mistake led to unwelcome circumstances, but then thinking about my life as a whole, none of the joy I have since had would have been, had I done anything differently. I would not be where I am today, in the capacity in which I exist, if I had ever followed a different path. Yes, a chance day made everything in my course of life possible. And to quote Edith Piaf, “non, je ne regrette rien.”
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