If there's one thing that takes up a large chunk of things that I think about a lot, it's how things might have been, if one small factor in my past was different.
So, for example, when my family moved house in 1998, how would my life be different if we had settled in the Dandenongs, rather than Elsternwick, as was a possibility at some point. I swing between thinking my life at this point would be radically different to thinking it would largely be the same.
It seems to me that we can conclude one of two things: that there are landmark points in your life where choosing either X or Y (or Z!) will radically alter your life. There aren't that many though, and those that are there have fundamentally shaped the way your life has turned out so far. Or, alternatively, every choice, regardless of how mundane, has ultimate and fundamental repercussions on how things pan put. So, for example, my deciding to walk to work rather than ride, could in fact be decisive in the way my life pans out. Perhaps I will meet an old friend, or my life partner, or perhaps i will be killed in a drive by shooting.
So i can't decide between whether there are pivotal moments in life, whereby you are almost aware that such a moment has arrived and, overwhelmed with a sense of universal gravitas you ponder the choice. Things like moving house, going overseas, what to study at university, which friends to choose, etc, etc. These events have the illusion of being important.
But maybe my choosing the sambal noodles over the hokkien noodles will hold as much fatalistic weight. It seems unlikely, but you can't know because, once the path is chosen, it's often unclear which factors, which events in life were the catalyst for events that followed. Was my tripping over a bump in the footpath due to my having drunk too much, or choosing shoes that make me clumsy? Or both?
These kind of trains of thought are enough to drive me friggin mental.
Not because I can't figure out which moments in life are the pivotal ones. But, rather, because it seems like it is irrelevant. You can only figure out which moments are pivotal (if at all) ones they have come and gone, and you have been given a chance to reflect. While it seems as if bigger, more obvious choices, like deciding what to study at university holds more fatalistic implications then which shoes to wear, it isn't necessarily the case. With this in mind, if we can only decipher what the future held (ie. pull apart the choices that were open to us once we have made them) then we really have no control over the future at all.
Which is terrifying.
But, you know, also extremely calming.