Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sliding Doors in Our Lives...What If?

It's a risk to write this post because of where my crazy over-thinking mind will take it. 

Last night the movie Sliding Doors came on HBO (thanks to a free preview weekend!...we don't pay the extra money to have movie channels all the time). 

We have the movie on DVD, but it never occurred to me to watch this movie for awhile. However, Alexander actually went to bed at a normal time (don't get me started with him and his bedtime issues), and Chris and Mikelle were out on some errands. Christian had already gone to bed. I noticed Sliding Doors coming on, and I was delighted to have the peace of having full television freedom alone with my drawing board and pen for two custom orders I am working on.

If you haven't seen Sliding Doors, it's about a London girl, Helen (played by American Gwyneth Paltrow trying to sound convincing with a British accent), who leaves for work one morning where she is an executive at a Public Relations firm. She arrives and is fired for what appears to be political reasons as they were looking for an excuse to get rid of her. 

Dejected, she turns around to go back home, and she heads to the Subway station (the London Tube). 

She runs to make the train, but the doors close just as she attempts to board it. As a result, she misses the train.
Helen missed the train. 
Or does she? 

A completely different set of events and plot-lines then unfold. Viewers are then treated to how events play out due to her missing the train, but we also see what happens because she does make the train after all. 

The two story-lines become even easier to follow when in one of the plot-lines, her hair is cut shorter and colored blonde.
Helen and James (after she clearly made the train)

If you haven't seen this movie, I highly recommend it. Sure, it has its issues (that some critics have pointed out...but don't they always?), but all in all, it's in my top 10 of favorite movies for reasons stated here and many other reasons that would divert from the necessary subject at hand.

As I'm sure it has with others who have seen Sliding Doors, watching the completely different course of events unfold as a result of a missed or caught train have caused me to wonder what would have happened if I made alternate choices or a simple step was made differently in my life.

How would things have been different if something did or didn't happen? 

I can think of a number of situations in the past where what appeared to be an insignificant event or occurrence led to bigger and better things, or in some instances, great pain and sadness. I have thought back on these and thought of what I would do differently if given the chance, or thankful that things worked out the way they did.

The Sliding Doors concept exploring two alternate futures reminds us how timing can be everything. My mind wonders to significant days or even moments that could've easily contained such crossroads depending on something as simple as missing a phone call. What if I didn't miss the phone call?  In one poignant memory, I recall choosing not to return a call after thinking for hours about if I should return it or not. 

What if I did return it?

And major decisions in life also come into play, even though they're not as simple as a moment of making the train or returning a phone call. 

After high school, when my plans to leave the state for school were squashed into a million pieces as a result of a course of events (that I do not want to explore on here for personal reasons and it also will send me on a skewed tangent away from the subject at hand) that were unfair and ridiculous, I decided on my Plan B. My Plan B was to attend Eastern Arizona College 3 hours away in Thatcher. I even went out there to take the placement exams.

But then as I drove back into town, something told me to stay here. I couldn't understand it. Eastern Arizona college wasn't exactly getting away and seeing the world, but even going a few hours away for college wasn't in the plans? I didn't understand. Would I ever get out of this valley? 

But I decided to stay here because for some reason it felt right. I couldn't explain it.

Even though it felt right, I was still upset about it. Sometimes what feels right isn't what we want.

That aside, what would the alternate Sliding Doors reality be if I did leave? Chris is a little sensitive that I wonder this as if it indicates I wish I didn't meet him. I would not have met him if Plan A or B was realized. But I assure him my curiosity is more in the abstract. I wanted to leave this valley in the most way (still do). It has nothing to do with any kind of regret in meeting him. 

While the course of our experiences and occurrences can make a significant difference, I do find comfort in believing that no matter what happens to us, we still make our way to people, vocations, and situations that need to be in our lives. I believe (and this is just the Bible of Jill), that this is where our Father in Heaven comes into play to help us along. Even if it appears something horrible is happening to change our route. It may be to allow for us to end up where we were supposed to be. It’s hard to see at the time (as it's like standing up against the Seurat painting and only seeing the jumbled dots and not the 'big picture'). 

For example, as I already alluded to above, the actions that kept me from leaving the state for school (Plan A) was something ridiculous and unfair. But was it supposed to happen that way to keep me here? Chris maintains that it is. Part of me believes that as well, despite still being upset at what did occur to keep me here. I have a perverted need for justice and I still want those responsible for the hurtful actions to be held accountable. 

I am aware that it is pointless wondering such Sliding Doors alternate realities. We can drive ourselves crazy with such thoughts. There's no way to know the answers. I do wish there was a "movie" of our own alternate realities to see just what would have happened if the choices in such crossroads were made and different paths were taken. You know, just for curiosity purposes.

I would bring the popcorn. 

Maybe we'll receive that knowledge on the other side. I hope we do. You know, just for curiosity purposes.

Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. I think about this question a lot, too. I only have a few decisions I regret, and I often wonder what might have been had I chosen differently. But, this is where I am and where my choices led me, and I don't think I would really change that due to what I've learned along the way. But it would be cool to see what might have been. :)

    I'll have to look into that movie.