Notes from the Editor: The Other Path

By Karyn L. Beach

I don’t have many regrets. But, I did have one pretty big one, one that had followed me for almost two decades … and then something amazing happened. It went away.

Yes. It did.

Just like that!

I always wondered what would have happened if I would have made the decision to just stay in Cleveland. I could have married my college sweetheart and had a couple of kids.

When I would see women who had that kind of domestic setting, I would feel tugs of envy and tinges of regret. “Maybe, I should have…” I would say to myself.

Christmas before last, I went home for a visit. While hanging out with a good friend, we made a stop by her sister’s house. Her sister had it all – the hubby and the nice home and the beautiful kids. She was exactly the kind of woman that sparked those tugs and tinges within me.

I asked her how she’d been because we hadn’t seen each other in quite a while (years). And she talked about the husband and the kids and the job and she seemed truly happy. And, I was truly happy for her. As we prepared to leave, I had an epiphany.

In that moment, I realized, that if her life had been my life, I would have spent years in quiet desperation. I would not have been happy. I probably would have driven myself crazy! I realized that the road frequently traveled wasn’t the road for me. I’d been on the right path – my path – all along.

I thought about all the amazing things I’d seen and done and the insane variety of people I’ve met that never would have been possible living day-to-day in a suburb of Cleveland.

Yes, I still want the hubby and the kid (not plural!) but I need to have that in my own way in my own time. At that moment, I literally felt the weight being lifted from my shoulders and I knew that I would never again feel those same tugs and tinges. I can appreciate someone else’s path without wishing it were my own.

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