In My Alternate Life…

Emily likes to play this game where we talk about what we’d be doing in alternate lives.  We went camping this past week, and she asked all of us there what we’d be doing in our alternate lives.  Well as these things go I like to play around with them a bit in my head and think it through a little.

122248624 07Deed5440Sometimes there can be a bit of a hesitation to think about such questions because it could be seen as not being content with the life we already have, but I choose to think of it in a different way. Actually when you think about alternate lives it helps us to be creative and often times let’s us see things about ourselves we aren’t always aware of. 

I realize I have this deep interest in film.  My initial thought to the question is, “well I think I would  have gone to film school, I would probably be trying to do something with film, whether it was directing or editing short films I think I would’ve like to be an indie filmmaker.???  Maybe I’d even try to work for Wes Anderson. 
But then when I think about it more, I dig a little into it, I think that even that feels like a secondary choice, my first choice would be doing something like what I am doing now.  Working on school, studying great thinkers, and trying to make a different in the church has satisfied me. 

I’ve been on this path since I was sixteen and felt God call me to the ministry, it’s weird to think about it that way, but I’ve really never strayed from that path even though many things have changed and the way I understand that call has changed the focus of my eyes has always been the same. 

So when we play with alternate worlds, we sometimes find that we’re really doing what we like not matter how green that other grass is.  Of course maybe I would have chosen a different course of study, different schools, different locations, but then again when I look back I really think I like it the way it is.

Emily said she realized that every time she thought about her alternate life she always started from California.  She didn’t notice that she was doing that till recently and felt like that was affirmation that we really are happy with where we are and that we followed God to the right place. 

How about any of you?  What would you be doing in your alternate life?  Do you find anything helpful in thinking along these lines?

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Wess

...is the William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.

6 thoughts on “In My Alternate Life…”

  1. hi wess – i’m happy that you and emily are happy here in california! because i’m happy to know both of you.

    questions like this always throw me for a loop. i’m a recovering “the grass is always greener on the other side” -aholic. i like to think of the next step, next big thing, next phase…often i loose sight of the present steps, present things and present phases. gratefulness for the present has been a very important discipline for me as i recover from my addiction to “doing the next big thing.”

  2. The way I see it, everyone has an alternate life playing out at the same time as the life they are in now. The alternate life is the result of one or many variables in one’s lifetime being carried out differently, mostly without one even knowing about it. Whether or not we enjoy what we are doing in this life is irrelevant, you just have to keep on keepin’ on with the life you’ve been given.

    I have an unnerving suspicion that I’d be a totally different person in my alternate life, more of an asshole really. I’d have family issues just like the ones I do in this life, and just like everyone else does. Things would be different, but more or less equal to what they are now.

    When I really think about it, I’d prefer my alternate life. But who is to say THIS life isn’t your alternate one?

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