In the book The Midnight Library, the main character explores alternative versions of her life, new realities only possible had she made different choices and pursued other paths. Isn’t it an interesting concept?
Who would you be if you decided on a different major, partner, hobby, or city? How different would your life be if you went for another opportunity where your life forked previously? How would your relationships look like if you chose the alternative? Would you even like this version of yourself?
Of course, it is impossible for us to know, but it can be fun to imagine. I asked Markus these questions and he said, in another life he could be a German lawyer or a scuba diving instructor in Thailand. In another life, we never met each other because he chose to travel to Africa instead of Asia. From here, the possibilities are endless.
I can think of certain points in my life where my specific decisions could have led to a whole new world. If I am standing in the Midnight Library right now and exploring alternative lives, I would probably be:
- teaching Literature in a university in the province, single, with very long hair and a superiority complex;
- a wanderer living on a backpack, aimlessly going with the flow, lounging on a beach every day and doing nothing;
- in a busy delivery room, telling a mother to push with contractions and later holding a newborn in my gloved hands, asking myself why the smell of blood no longer registers on my nose;
- married to a Filipino with many children, my world revolving around family, satisfied while thinking this is what a woman should do;
- at my family’s home where I grew up, eating chicken wings, mainly sick, looking out of the window while breathing like a fish out of the water, failing to launch;
- living alone in a small apartment in Makati City, reviewing hotels, disconnected, isolated, and looking for distractions on weekends;
- fighting muay thai in Bangla Stadium in Phuket, training hard every day and enjoying the simplicity of this regimented life;
- a yoga teacher in a wellness center, the kind who wears a long skirt every day and drinks herbal tea and eats magic mushrooms.
I do not know how I would feel about this version of me in alternative lives. I am sure each has its own ups and downs. It is quite fun to think about them though, to explore our what-ifs and could-bes and laugh about them.
How about you? Who would you be in another life?