Life in “What If”

Thanksgiving has come and gone and the season has brought me back to thinking about life. It’s weird, I’m convinced that I found myself during college, but now after, I’m trying to write for a living and it’s gotten me to think harder about my own life and personal choices. I send my resumes out and try my best to build up credibility as an entertainment journalist while waiting. Then I have my personal site and other personal projects that I’m working on.

Then I stopped and thought, “What if none of this existed?”

My mother turned to me the other day and said, “You know Mike, in some alternate world you could have been Michael Yap.” I looked at her a little confused, but she continued, “I mean, I might not have ended up with your father. We might now be here in New York. For a while I maintained a California nursing license because your father and I weren’t sure if we were going to stay in The Bronx.” She continued on saying how we’re lucky and blessed to be here. She’s told me stories of different events and situations that just seem to fall into place before. Like how since she was the second to the youngest she lucked out and got into nursing school with the help of some extra funding from her newly retiring father.

I’m a firm believer in fate and destiny; I mean I also have some Catholic beliefs and personal morals that have guided me, there’s nothing wrong with that. But during the Thanksgiving season, I’ve often asked myself questions about ‘What If?’

What if I was brought up in California?

What if I didn’t finish in Communications or Business? Would I have been a music teacher or a museum curator?

What if I was actually alone?

I have a lot of fears about my life. I’ve talked about how one of my inner fears is to die and have no one show up at my funeral. It’s an odd thing to say, but I’m afraid of being forgotten. Thanksgiving makes people think about what they are grateful for. I thank everyone I’ve known or interacted with because they’ve given me hope that there will at least one person at my funeral.

There’s a part of me that feels like I’m emotionally tearing myself up for nothing. I have someone who loves me and even though we have funny squabbles, Eric gets me. I’m always afraid he thinks that I’m insane; but he reassures me that most of his family is actually insane and I’m just paranoid.

I’m thankful. Especially thankful that my last name isn’t Yap. It doesn’t seem to fit my personality. Haha, instead of Paz, I’d be Pay.

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