Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Tuesday, June 18
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

OPINION: All the lives I want to live in one

opsplitpaths-illo

As I stand in the present and gaze into the future, there are numerous universes I would like to visit that this version of me simply can’t. Before you think it’s about time, it’s not. I know I have enough time to live this life. And before you think it’s about capability, it’s not that either. I am confident I’m capable of crossing the finish line for every single one of my goals.  

It’s about being present, but not omnipresent. I can’t be everywhere at the same time, in the same way the third- person narrator of a Disney movie can. I do try though, and I think that’s where I go wrong. I frequently attempt to do something humans weren’t designed to do:, mesh all of life’s options in one,  often making me frustrated and sad.  

The lives that I want to live are so different; there is no possible way I can live all of them in one.  

I’ve always loved the idea of becoming a mom. It was, and still is, as important to me as any other goal I have set for myself. I think I was born to be a mom; motherhood has always called my name in a way other things just don’t. As I have grown older, I have also witnessed my siblings become parents. I have learned from watching them how difficult raising children is, and how expensive it can become. Reality has set in, and sometimes I wonder if not having children would make me happier.  

And that’s the thing: I can’t have children and not have children. I must choose, and that for me, and most likely many others, is a frustrating fact of life.  

I’m also a hopeless romantic. I want to get married young and in love, so I can remember the best days of my youth with the love of my life. I want to watch this person grow up with me, share the different versions of them through the years of our marriage and fall in love with every single one.  

But then again, what if instead of growing together, we grow apart? Almost 50% of marriages end in divorce. Maybe getting married young isn’t the best option. Maybe I postpone my marriage, so it’s a more mature decision when I have lived more of my adult life.  

And that’s the thing: I can’t get married young and get married when I’m older all to the same person. 

With these two examples come many others. I can’t go back home to Nicaragua and stay in the U.S. I can’t stay in the U.S. and have my parents two doors away. I can’t have my parents two doors away and live up to my goals.  

I can’t do everything in this lifetime. I have to choose, and so I do. I chose to come to the U.S. for college instead of staying home, and what gives me peace is that I would’ve been just as happy and just as sad if I had chosen to stay home. I would’ve felt the same feelings, but for different reasons.  

I think the worst part is the gray area in between, not knowing which option of two choices will make me the happiest, or if that happiness can even be measured. And once you choose, you know you need to leave the other life behind. It stays in the land of “what-ifs”, and you can revisit it every now and then in your mind, but the choice has since passed. 

I find peace knowing I will be content if I at least choose something. No staying stuck in my own indecision. Just actively choosing one life to live.  

Maria Amanda Irias (she/her) is a junior studying journalism and psychology.  

Get stories like this in your inbox
Subscribe