Like I said: “no.”
A more nuanced, and more clichéd, answer would be “it’s complicated.” If the choices we make bring us to a place that’s as good as any other place, maybe better, then I’ll gladly say no. No, my choices were not bad choices.
Some of the choices I’ve made in life simply couldn’t have been any other than what they were, given my own background and given my built-in tendencies. That’s nurture and nature, folks. Or maybe to stay anthropological: environment and genetics. It is what it is.
So I suppose I get to make that call. Some of my choices were beautiful, bearing my children for example. And learning about learning. Deciding to try my hand at micro-farming. Working to understand what it means to lean into sustainability. Some friendships have been golden. Some choices I made may have looked like train wrecks. Some choices various people have told me were train wrecks. Some I’ve told myself were.
The biggest game-changer has been my divorce. Do I regret marrying my ex? That’s a double-edged sword, especially since there were warning signs, “disaster ahead,” from the very beginning. Even from the point I could have walked away, out of the Ohio winter and back to sunny California, there were warning signs. Right then. My story is an old story. We were together for so long that people looking in from the outside (and some very smart people at that) saw what wasn’t really there. I saw things that weren’t really there. I can regret things that happened. I do regret things that happened. I can’t bring myself to regret the whole experience because it brought me my kids. Some circumstances around the relationship pushed me into grad school later in life — a fortuitous decision, if not all that lucrative at this point. Not lucrative but fulfilling. It’s hard to regret something that ended badly but brought some very positive things into my life.
So, stay here now or go? So much of the complicated work and paperwork that has kept me right here in this place has been completed or is being completed. When so much that was so difficult began two and a half years ago, I thought I might just fly on out of here when I reached this point. Now I’m not so sure.