Happiness – What Could Have Been…

I am fascinated with life, and the idea of each and every person having their own pathway on which they follow… 

It’s not that I believe in fate, or that I think we have any kind of predetermined outcome by some fella upstairs…instead I think of us as paving our own way – desperately struggling to lay the yellow bricks in front of us as we attempt to navigate through our lives. Sometimes we stumble across good eggs like Scarecrow, Tim Woodman, and Cowardly Lion – and then occasionally there are sadistic witches and flying killer monkeys who rip off all of your limbs…

Wizard of OZ GIF

Swings, and roundabouts I suppose…

 I mean granted not everything can be cheese, back rubs, and new posts from Storytime with John, right? There are shitty moments too – it’s just all about finding those happy moments, and treasuring them, whilst also trying to derive some purpose from our small window of life (wherever, and however that may be!); after all we all want to be happy!

But you know what? I have some rather backward advice (which just so happens to work!) when it comes to being happier with your present situation…it’s not particularly to look at the things that you are lucky enough to possess; a loving family? A great set of friends? A job you actually enjoy? A really comfortable pair of socks? Whatever! No. 

Although naturally…good for you – especially the socks thing.

But I do find that spending some time considering what could have been (for the worst), really helps pump you up, and give a greater perspective on your life as a whole. It’s basically like you are looking backwards down the yellow brick road, and viewing the different paths that you see were no available…but you didn’t take. And as you are older, and hopefully a smidge wiser you now see they would have led to doom and gloom. I find this gives confidence in going forward…PUMP UP DAT CHEST, BRUH! 

Judge GIF

For me I look back at past relationships that would have anchored me to one spot…limited me…and kept me in a closed community, with a minimal amount of opportunity – so I look back at that, and then examine the present day…and I feel more positive about meekly edging forward. Or perhaps I peer pack down the yellow brick road again, and see friendship circles centered solely around drinking, drugs, and a lack of ambition…then again I look at the now…and feel a stronger person for being where I am today.

If I had made certain other choices, my reality would be totally different. 

I could of course ramble more about this for a lot longer, but it wouldn’t make much sense to you…after all life isn’t always a cohesive narrative, it is actually a very personal story which is only ever reported as a polished epilogue – one with which we can perhaps relate, but never truly experience – each of us walk in our own shoes, on our own path. 

But just try it, look back and see where your life could have taken you…not for the better, but for the worse…it should bring a wry smile to your face – and hopefully more faith in yourself, and your future…

Spiderpunch GIF

You’ve got this my friend!

(This post is dedicated to my very good friend over at Pixelated Lifestyle – keep going, just keep going…oh and watch out for the flying monkeys.)



Please buy my collection of stories! Get it in paperback here – or on Kindle here! ALL proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer Support!

18 Replies to “Happiness – What Could Have Been…”

  1. Thanks for the dedication!

    This is great advice! I often play the ‘what if’ game and it is all so easy to focus on the negatives. But as we’ve discussed in the past this is clearly not useful or conducive to any sort of personal growth. There is absolutely no way of knowing where your life would be if you had taken a different route so why worry? If it could have been different it would have been different.

    It’s all so easy to focus on what might have been, or what lies in the road ahead, that you forget to appreciate what you have. You shouldn’t let the past and the future distract you from the present. (I’m talking to myself here by the way)

    Maybe Dorothy should have enjoyed and appreciated her journey along the yellow brick road a little more instead of whingeing about wanting to go home the whole time. As shit parts were for her I’m sure she had fond memories of them after. And she got some bloody great stories out of it.

    And your dedication has made me realise I haven’t posted anything in a few months! You’ve inspired me to get to work on finishing all my half completed articles.

    Cheers mate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to be focused on what I didn’t do, and my short-comings, which granted are many and you know them more than the usual person on the street. But let’s not get into that. Anyway…I just think it is a healthy way to think if you want to progress…and yeah Dorothy made all sorts of pals, and saw things she wouldn’t have ever believed – and still she moaned and squawked the whole way, wasted really. Should have been me…if only I had…wait no.


  2. Thoughtful & wise, John. Building stories about the past in your mind that never happened makes good fiction. The “what ifs” of life. You can make up whatever you want, and feel however you want. I say have fun with that. It’s all fake history anyway…Christine

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh indeed Christine, I go all the way back down those alleys and luxuriate in the imagined reality that could have been – very intriguing, and naturally you can derive a lot of inspiration for fiction writing from those situations!

      Liked by 1 person

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