George Eliot’s quote makes me mad. Because of 2 illnesses I have DECADES of my life I can never get back, nor can I now make choices to make my life what it might have been because the illnesses prevent any other possible future should I be able to make different choices now.
And I’m going through a circumstance where it’s easy to think of losing nearly 2 decades, or trying to learn and enjoy what was good. Either way, I can’t make my life what it might have been. In both cases I can only move forward, not make choices to make the situation different than what it was.
What is true about the quote is that, as always, we have choices and make choices in our lives. We always have choices. Around every corner lies a new choice. We can make decisions now that undo past behaviors – become sober instead of using substances for instance. A future that is different, though it does not recapture years when you were making those other choices.
I think the quote is trying to get at the idea that we can make a different future, one that we imagined before. We can learn new hobbies, get a new job, decide to be a parent, become sober.
Yet I am caught in too many scenarios right now – illnesses and circumstances – that cannot be redeemed with different choices. The choice I make is to accept them and let them be what they are. They cannot be other than what they are. I cannot be what I might have been with these albatrosses.