As a teenager I wasted many a weekend on video games. The vivid imagery and story lines kept me coming back Saturday after Saturday. If there was a side-story to be explored, I took it. Any random request from an auto-simulated villager, I was there. A way to change your uniform, I found them all. Sometimes with the help of the Internet.
The moments that infuriated me most were dungeons of any kind. Especially the ones with time limits. There was always a passage, a treasure chest, a secret left untouched and unknown.
When I graduated from high school, I shifted my focus from dungeon master to the glorious road of continued education. I could’ve gone to any university (with the right amount of time and energy). However, choosing one meant leaving the others unexplored, unknown.
Still, I chose one.
After university, I made several yes decisions that took me to China, and away from developing a career here in the States. Even more yes’s and no’s later my life was spinning a 180 back to Oklahoma, where I found a job.
All of it brings me to today. Right now. I don’t get to go back and do any of that over again.
It’s a little sad and a little humbling, and extremely motivating.
In real life, as an adult, I am no longer preoccupied with virtual, unopened treasure chests. Instead of cheat codes, I carry a heavy awareness that every “yes” I say to one direction means that’s I have said “no” to something in another.
Should I have stayed in China? Could I have? What would have happened?
Should I stay in Oklahoma? What would it be like if I move? Could I make it?
Shoulda. Coulda. Woulda.
The reality is: this isn’t a video game where you get to go back and explore all possible options. You just makes peace with the yes’s and peace with the no’s. Or you don’t.
Either is still a choice.
You move forward or you get stuck in the dungeon.
Until Next Time!
-Photos from the Fort Worth Botanical and Japanese Gardens in Fort Worth, TX-