Do you ever think about a life you never had?
That’s probably a strange question to open with. Let me explain. I recently read a book called A Day Like This by Kelley McNeil. It was just a random book I settled on while browsing the selections in Kindle Unlimited which, apparently, I get with my Amazon Prime subscription. I think because it was a freebie, I didn’t really expect much out of it, but I actually found parts of the novel really fascinating. So fascinating, in fact, that I devoured the book in two days. Which is pretty spectacular for me. While I love to read, I always felt that I didn’t have the time to do it for fun between work and school, but since I’m doing neither one of those things at the moment — I’m still out of work and classes don’t start until next month — it’s been a lot easier to find time to focus on reading for fun.
The plot of A Day Like This basically revolves around a woman named Annie who, after a car accident, discovers that her marriage to her husband Graham isn’t what she thought and that they’ve been separated for some time, and that their five-year-old daughter Hannah doesn’t exist. Everyone in her life assumes that she’s somehow damaged her memory in the accident or that she’s just plain nuts, but Annie’s determined to prove that the life she just had was real. But in this new reality, she’s a successful artist and has developed a better relationship with her sister Marcie and looks to be starting a new chapter of her exciting jet-setting life. She eventually meets with a journalist and a medium who tell her about far-fetched ideas such as parallel universes. Annie basically has to explore her mind and what’s possible to reconcile her memories with reality while she desperately misses a relationship with her husband and an entire daughter she may have never had.
Sometimes when I drive through neighborhoods in which I never lived, sometimes I’ll look at a house and wonder what it’s like to live there. To have grown up there, and spent my life there. To have been a different person. I also think about other lives when I see airplanes flying overhead — wondering about the people on that plane, wondering who they are and where they’re going. Are they traveling for business? Are they going home? Are they running away? Are they going on vacation? Not to mention there are dreams I’ve had in the past where I’m someone completely different than myself. Sometimes, when I’m not at my happiest, it’s nice to imagine that I’m not myself. But if I wasn’t myself, then who would I be? Or if there are parallel universes, what are the other versions of myself doing with their lives? It’s entirely possible that this isn’t the darkest timeline, after all. Maybe we don’t want to know the alternatives.
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine, but maybe we’re who we are for a reason? We can take comfort in the fact that there’s no real way to know otherwise.
Until next time…