Life is replete with moments where the fraction of a second it can take to make a decision will change you irrevocably. What may seem like a small matter at the time can end up being the instant that completely changes the direction you were taking. Conversely, seemingly important decisions end up having little or no bearing on your future.
At the time you have no idea what will result from the choice you make. Sometimes it may even take years to find out. Of course there's always the element of risk involved that you will have made the wrong decision, but I've always considered the opposite of change, stagnation, an even worse option.
There have been some choices I've made that have been most decidedly wrong. Ones that have ended up in jail time, addiction, and alienating pretty much everybody who I had considered a friend. Those are the times we look back on and say. "Boy, if I only had that to do over again…" But if I'm really honest with myself I know that if somehow I were transported back to that moment in time again and again, without ever having been through the experience before, I would continually make the same choices.
I look back on the person who I was then; the information that I had at my disposal on how people were supposed to behave; and my attitude towards the world, and see no other options for that person. While it is true that we are all free to make any decision we see fit, isn't it also true that a person's judgement is affected by what they have observed and lived through up until that time?
I've never used any of my life experiences as an excuse for my behaviour or my choices. Every decision I have made has been mine and nobody has forced me to do anything. What I'm talking about are explanations for behaviour. It sure made it easier for me to learn from my screw-ups and change my behaviour once I understood the reasons why I had done them
Once you've seen the looks of hurt and betrayal on the faces of people you love whom you had screwed over; once you hear the pain and disbelief in their voices you never forget it. What makes it even worse is when the big question why hangs over the whole affair. I don't know sounds pretty lame and is not a satisfying answer in those circumstances for anyone.