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Thoughty Thursday: Do-Over…Would You?

by | Aug 25, 2011 | Appearance (Theater, Signing, Talks) | 12 comments

It’s the back-to-school time of year, and that conjures up a mixed bag of memories. I loved being a student–yeah, I was a school nerd, and classes were pretty easy for me maybe cuz I took the “artsy” classes like writing, singing, and suchlike. I had mixed feelings about my parents being teachers, though. And lots of angst when for a short time I actually became a high school teacher. On Facebook my relationship with school would be “it’s complicated.”

Part of that is disappointment, I think. After study of music and acting I had every intention to take Broadway by storm. Ha! Then life happened. I met someone special, we fell in love, got married, and my “dream life” was no longer practical. That empty spot inside begged to be filled up with some kind of creativity. So I “made do” with writing. *snort*

[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”448″ caption=”My in-house editor, Seren, never holds back her opinion.” Seren "Editing"

”Magic

Yep, I’m an accidental writer who actually made a career out of making do. I wonder how many of us end up with accidental careers?

The dreams we have early in life evolve as we grow and have obstacles and hard choices thrown in the path. Have you ever regretted a choice you made? Would you go back in time for a “do-over” if you had the chance? Are you satisfied with your life today? All those choices along the way–the doors opened or slammed shut, the “mistakes” that lead to other opportunities–for good or ill, they get us to this spot–HERE, NOW, where we are at this moment. A different choice 10 years ago, or even last week surely could lead to a different reality but who’s to say it would be better?

Today I head back over to the Denison High School–where I taught for that brief wonderful-awful-glorious-crazy period of time–for a rehearsal. I’ve been invited to perform in a fund-raiser “talent show” for the theater department this Saturday night. So what better choice than an original song from the new musical dramedy KURVES written with my co-author Frank Steele. Oh, it’s cast and will be presented in full in early February, stay tuned…

Wait a minute, what happened there? Yes, after all these years that drama-dream resurrected with a detour into accidental script/music writing. That’s some scary crappiocca, I gotta say! And guess what? The 8 characters angst over missed opportunities and whether to risk what they have for a do-over new chance at happiness.

Sort of gotz me a theme going, ya think?

A couple of decades ago I could have turned down that marriage proposal, headed to Noo Yawk and who knows what would have happened? I do know what would NOT have happened: 23 books, pet writing and behavior consults, teaching music, Seren-Kitty and Magical-Dawg, moving to Texas, meeting y’all–none of that would have happened.

So what about you? What do-over would you wish for? If you had a chance for a “do-over” would you take it?

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Be sure to get your requests in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

12 Comments

  1. animalartist

    Along the way I had regrets and sadness at what I’d left behind only to find that it was waiting for me up ahead. My whole life was a “make do” after being turned around from the things I thought I wanted. What I ended up getting was what I needed, and in the end I won’t do it the way I wanted, but what I accomplish and produce will probably be better for ignoring my juvenile decisions!

    • amyshojai

      “Along the way I had regrets and sadness at what I’d left behind only to find that it was waiting for me up ahead.”

      That’s just lovely!

  2. Hartford

    I have to say, I am pretty happy and satisfied with my life. Although, if I could do things over, I wish after graduating with my degree in journalism, I would have continued on to law school (which I might yet do)! But so far, so good!

    • amyshojai

      I think we all still need that “brass ring” sort of wish list out there to keep us motivated, too. Law school would be fascinating!

  3. Tiffany A White

    There are definitely some moments that I’d like the opportunity to do-over, but at the same time, how else do we grow as a person? I’ve learned from those mistakes – and I’m a better person because of them.

    • amyshojai

      Tiffany, that’s so true. If we don’t learn from mistakes we’re destined to make ’em again. Sometimes I think there’s no “good choice” though–so how can it be a mistake if you don’t have that opportunity?

  4. Karyl Cunningham

    You know, there are a few things that stand out in my mind, where I didn’t get what I wanted, where dreams were crushed… but I don’t think I’d go back.

    One being that I really wanted to go to this school up north, because it was a nice small campus, and I’d been up there for a couple of theater productions. Plus, my high school best friend was going there. But at the time i wanted to go into photography, and when I went up for my tour, I found out they didn’t actually have a real photo program, just a handful of classes. I was crushed. I do remember crying on the way home.

    But what would have happened if I had gone there, instead of Ohio U? I wouldn’t have been exposed to the stellar viscomm staff. Never would have learned about the issues my astigmatism would cause with using manual focus probably until it was too late (many thanks to the prof who had the same problem who figured out why I didn’t know my pics were out of focus). I probably would have clung to my friend and stayed in my shell, rather than making my own friends and becoming my own person.

    And, of course, I would not have met James. 😉

    Though, it’s a tossup whether I’d accept my current job if I had it to do over again. LOL

    • amyshojai

      LOL Karyl! Never seems to be a black-and-white thing anyway. When my husband was laid off years ago I was crushed–we’d just been in our first home a couple of months, had waited so long to finally get a house and then…all gone. And had to move to TEXAS of all places.

      But if we’d not had that happen, we’d still be in gorgeous Tennessee but miss out on so much more.

      Incidentally, I have the same issues with photo focus and astigmatism. God bless “smart” cameras!

  5. Lois Richardson

    Well laid plans do go astray. Mine were before and after marriage, but to forge on was not an option. I think if a do- over was a reality we’d still want to do-over the do-over. 🙂 But it’s fun to reflect over what could’ve been-maybe it wouldn’t have been all that great!

    • amyshojai

      Lois you’re right…when do you stop rehashing do-overs? Do-over the do-over the do-over (ouch, my head hurts!).

  6. Jackie King

    I muse about this question quite a bit. The one big decision that could have changed my life completely, is marrying someone else all of those years ago. But then I wouldn’t have had my three wonderful children. Whenever this thought pops into my mind, I always decide that even if I had the choice, I’d leave things as they are. (Also, I could have married one of those creeps who murder their wives for their insurance. Which, through my job, I had a lot of.) Sigh.

    So I settled on writing stories where I can control the outcome no matter what happens to my heroine. And that rocks!
    Jackie King
    THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE

    • amyshojai

      Wow, Jackie! You could have been a star in a mystery? Of course, being 6-foot under wouldn’t have been much fun if the creep murdered you for the insurance. I’d say based on that alone, I’d stay with the status quo and NOT opt for a do-over. *s*

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