Monday, September 22, 2008

Book Giveaway Bonanza!

So, on Friday, I received two big boxes of ToML...mine to do what I wished with. And what I wish is to give some of these suckers away! So, from today through Wednesday, I'm giving away SEVEN copies to bloggers and TWO copies to non-bloggers. Here's the deal:

To enter, you have to post your own "what if" moment below. What is one of your big life "what if" moments - those moments that you sometimes wonder that if you'd made a different choice, if your entire life wouldn't have taken on a different trajectory? This isn't a regret - it's just a "what if," and there's an important distinction! I have a lot of "what if" moments (and I think all parents out there do because it's so strange to consider how chance timing determined your future children and how different it might have been if, er, you hadn't chosen that exact moment to, um, do the deed, so to speak), but one of my biggies is "what if I hadn't joined the gym at which I met my husband?" (Yes, my husband and I met at the gym. Ugh! I know.) But I moved to a new 'hood, and had a choice of gyms, and opted for that one for no particular reason (actually, now that I think of it, I think I opted for it because I had an ex at the other gym - ha!), and one day, my husband crossed in front of me while I was on the stairmaster, and having just recovered from aforementioned ex, I saw stars. I stalked him (seriously) for several weeks straight until I finally shamelessly hit on him...and he all but blew me off. :) Anyhoo, when a clue finally entered his brain and he realized that I was making a play for him, he meandered up to me two weeks later and made small talk. And when he STILL didn't ask me out, I finally handed him my card and told him to call me.

(Yes, I've always had a brazen sense of overconfidence! LOL) But this is my what-if moment. What if I hadn't joined the gym? What if I hadn't worked up the nerve to talk to him? What if we had been on different work out schedules? Who knows where my life might have gone, but certainly, it wouldn't be the life I lead now.

So tell me, what is your what-if moment, and enter the contest! Just be sure to let me know if you have a blog or not. If you have a blog, the only rule of the contest is that I ask you to post something - a review if you have time to read it - a mention - something - the week that the book comes out.

Thanks! Good luck!

52 comments:

Kristen DeDeyn Kirk said...

Late in my sophomore year of college, I thought about transferring to a nearby Ivy League school. I needed change and challenge (I was soo bored in my business classes). I called the school and they encouraged me to apply. When I told my advisor what I wanted to do and that I liked advertising/public relations and writing, she said I was crazy. My school had a much better communications program, even if it wasn't Ivy League. I ended up designing my own major with the deans through a program called Planned Studies. The major change meant I would stay at my current college but couldn't spend a semester at our school's London campus as I had once hoped. I instead visited a friend there during spring break junior year and met my future husband -- who happended to be one of her four flatmates in a flat she had just moved into two weeks earlier. What if I had left my advisor out of my decision?! Would I have met my husband? Whould I be a writer now? Would I have the chance to review your book at my blog?
Hmmm...

Kristen at www.thefamilythatreadstogether.blogspot.com

Meggan and Trent said...

My husband and I were just discussing my what if moment the other night. I was offered a job in another city (close, but not that close) before I met my husband. I went and looked at places to live there, came close to signing the lease and accepting the job and decided at the last minute to stay where I was. If I hadn't I would not have met my husband and I would not have my precious little boy...

Julie Sturgeon said...

My what if has always been what if my husband and I had moved to Atlanta that summer after I graduated from college? He was willing, I wanted to go ... and then he lost his job in Louisville with only two weeks severance and we needed money right now. I had a network of friends and family up the road in Indianapolis (well, why not? I'd lived there my whole life) who were able to dangle that all-important job in front of him, and there was even an apartment available across the hall from our good friend. We took the easy money, so to speak, and the next thing you know, we were godparents to our friends' kids and involved in church committees, and the little brother got married and there were nieces and nephews.

Those kind of ties are permanent, and they sneak up on you until one day, you realize the choice was permanent, and you're never going to live in Atlanta. Or San Antonio. Or Chicago. Or New York. Or spend a year teaching in China. Or ...

Julie
www.curingcoldfeet.blogspot.com

Robin Shreeves said...

When I first got out of college, I interviewed with The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia for a job with their events planning department. It sounded like a perfect job. It came down to me and one other candidate, but I had zero computer skills (this was 1990), and that worked against me. I've always wondered what if I had actually listened to the people in college in the late '80's who kept telling me that I really should learn how to use the PC. I probably would have gotten that job. Instead, I decided to go back to school to get certified to teach.

So what if I had gotten that job and not gone back to school? Not been a teacher? Not taken the part time job where I met my husband while I was taking my teaching classes? What if....

Wouldn't want my life to have turned out differently than it had, but it could have based on that one opportunity.

deonne kahler said...

When I was 25 a great guy wanted to marry me. I wasn't ready, and we split up. Since then I've had a few serious relationships and dated a lot of nice people, plus I've got a long list of adventures and accomplishments that surely would have been different had I said yes.

I'm proud of what I've done in my life, but as a now perpetually single 43-year-old, I wonder if I could have had a similarly adventure-filled life and be approaching the 20-year mark of a satisfying marriage. I did what I did based on what were good reasons at the time, but now I'd like to build a life with someone, and I worry that the marriage boat has sailed. What if?

P.S. I have a blog: www.lifeonthehighwire.com

kateanon said...

What if moments - sometimes I think my life is full of them. The most recent, I find myself thinking "what if my husband hadn't taken this job here in Nashville"

Would we be separated already? Would we have continued on the road we were on at home?

My main what if moment goes back more than a decade. There was a moment between me and another man that could have led to the blossoming of a friendship into a relationship. It's one of the few things I'd like to do differently.

I look forward to reading, as I enjoyed the Dept. of Lost and Found; My blog can be found through the link

erika said...

The summer before my junior year of college I was commuting to New York City for an internship. One evening, I got out of work a little late and had to run ten blocks to catch the train. I made it just in time and found an open seat. As I caught my breath, the handsome guy in the seat next to me struck up a conversation. As it turned out, he was new to the city too and by the end of the week we were having lunch together in Bryant Park. Shortly thereafter we were meeting at Penn Station every night for the train ride home together and six months later we were engaged. We just celebrated our five year wedding anniversary last month and with each passing day I can't help but wonder...what if I had missed the train that day? What if I had chosen a different seat? Things could have worked out so differently but we are both so glad that fate stepped in that one summer day.

Margaret said...

When I was a young kid (age 5-7) we moved to an area of California with a sizeable Jewish population. This was the first time in my life I had peers who were Jewish and spent a lot of time at synagogue and told everyone I wanted to be a rabbi when I grew up. Then, my dad got transferred back to where we lived before, a state with very few Jews. I was still raised Jewish, had a bat mitzvah (albeit without a rabbi and without peers who were Jewish).
WHAT IF we hadn’t moved? Would I have become a rabbi? Would I have been able to do it? If I had, how would I be different? Would my perceptions and beliefs about politics be different than they are now? Would my value system be different? Would my relationship with G-d be different? Or, would I be the same spiritual person I am now, just with a different job?

P.S. I am not a blogger.

eapple said...

I have to preface this by saying I love my husband!

When I was a grad student at the University of Texas at Austin, there was a freak snowstorm. The city had no idea what to do with this stuff. The university shut down early and I grabbed a bus along with an absolutely gorgeous law student. It took an hour or more to go, oh, 5 miles, before the bus crashed into a car (at about 2 miles an hour). So we all piled out and began walking home in the snow. We were smitten, but I had a boyfriend. (A really awful one.) We had a romantic dinner before getting home, but then I turned down his offer of a real date. Sometimes I wonder about this handsome, wealthy lawyer...what if?

Elaine
P.S. I'm not a blogger. Not yet.

the Homesteader said...

What if I'd been a coward? In a fit of freedom after a breakup, I'd gotten the travel bug. When a friend backed out of a trip to Dallas to see our favorite band (I was in Boston, she Chicago), I sat back in resignation. Dammit. I wanted to GO. Then I thought of something: I still could. The idea of traveling solo to a city I'd never been to before was daunting, and I swam in a sea of what-ifs. What if I got lost? What if I felt unsafe? But I was sick of letting fear dictate my decisions. The real question, I was slowly realizing, was a more important what-if: what if I had (forgive me) the time of my life? So I decided to give fear the finger. I mind-over-mattered it, making flight plans, reserving a hotel. I even agreed to meet an online friend, a fan of the same band, for drinks the night before the show since he would be in town too. When he smiled at me from the doorway of the bar, I immediately knew I'd crossed the threshold between Before and After. And that's how a lifelong Bostonian ended up married to a farmer in remote western Kansas. I didn't want to live my life as a chicken.

sandra

ps: I do have a blog and could work in a way to blog about the book, but my it's very niche -- about Laura Ingalls Wilder -- so the numbers aren't stellar. http://lauraingallswilder.wordpress.com

Lisa Bakewell said...

Allison-

Lots of "what if" moments in my life. What if I hadn't left home at 18? What if I hadn't forgone college temporarily? What if I hadn't started to work for Perry Drugs? What if I hadn't decided to date a guy who "was totally not my type?"

All of these "what ifs" led me to my husband--yep, he ended up being my type! Twenty four years later we're still happily married with two great boys, which leads me to another "what if."

What if we hadn't gone on vacation with our friends, and I hadn't made the statement, "I'd like to be a freelance writer"--totally pulled out of thin air, I might add. Never had any aspirations to become a writer, but here I am today, and I totally love it!

There are so many more "what if" moments that have led me to where I am today and "who" I am today. I love "what ifs" and tend to choose the road less traveled--or at least the scariest route for me.

My motto: When you get afraid of change, you get old...and I'm far from old at this point!

Yes, Allison, I have a blog :)

Lisa Bakewell said...

Allison, I posted under the wrong blogger account--don't even know how a got it. :)

Here's the right one.

Lisa

Just B said...

When I was 15 my family moved from Colorado to Hawaii. Sounds fabulous, right? The thing was we had lived in this really cool old house my whole life and had a constant stream of Air Force Academy cadets through our doors every weekend. I was less than a year away from dating--I think you can understand my reluctance to move. But I soon figured out the perks of the beach over a man in uniform! Many years later I would meet my husband at the wedding of a dear Hawaii friend.
I have always been quite taken with the what-if concept. I even wrote a YA novel loosely based on my Hawaii experience that has been sitting in drawer for five years. I ought to dust that thing off!

mileseventeen.blogspot.com

Amie Stuart said...

My story's a lot like Deonne's. I met this really great guy about a year after my divorce. And I totally blew him off. I've been divorced for 12 years now and while I'm actually pretty content being single, sometimes I do wish I hadn't been so hasty--something I've done a lot of in my life!

That said, I know a lot of it, with him, was fear because the divorce was still pretty fresh.

Debbie Kaplan said...

I'm not going to do a past "what if" but a future one. With my husband's job site closing down next year, he might be offered a transfer 3,000 miles away. It's the dreaded "what if" since we're happy living where we are right now. "What if" is something we think about and talk about daily.
blog: www.friscokids.net

Christine_F said...

My big "WHAT IF" moment came in 1993 - what if I hadn't turn in a resume to a Loyalty Marketing company? It's difficult to imagine what my life would now be. Because I DID turn it in, I got the job which led to:
- the funnest start ever to my Marketing career
- hiring my future BFF at that same company
- having my new BFF introduce me to my husband
- all the GREAT memories that have occurred because I decided to hand in my resume that day. ALLELUIA.

pat olsen said...

Hi allison,

I blog at www.parentjuice.com. My what-if moment involves a summer job. I had a chance to interview as a flight attendant for a summer program eons ago. THe interviewer had the same last name as me--if that's not an in, what is? ANyway, I listened to a stupid boyfriend who was worried we'd break up if i went. I've been a fearful flyer for the last 20years. It's BAD. What IF I had gone on that interview and gotten that job? My son and husband hate flying with me. I've been to therapy and taken the Fear of Flying course. Nothing works.
REgards,
Pat Olsen

Denise said...

In 1996, I moved back to NY from London, and for a couple of months I worked as a freelance editor at a national fitness magazine -- a dream job, but not a permanent one. So when I was offered a "real" job at a bridal magazine, I took it. Four months later, the fitness mag's editor called me back for a permanent position. When I hesitated -- I liked my new job, and the position she was offering wasn't perfect -- she seemed offended. How could I NOT want to abandon bridal, the sort of poor relation in the magazine world. I turned it down, but I often wonder what if... Because, soon after, I became quite close to my office mate, who invited me to join her bookclub, where I met another very cool woman, who introduced me to her husband, who fell in love with me enough to say I HAD to meet his friend, who had the same twisted sense of humor as me. Took a year or more to pull together a meeting, but that friend is now my husband (eight years this fall) and father of our two boys. Who would not exist if not for that fateful "thanks but no thanks" to what I thought might be my dream job.

Denise
no blog yet...

Shelly said...

"what if I'd gone to law school?" Would I be stuck at this semi-boring job where I get respect from me peers, but management views me as a (not even) glorified secretary? Would I have time to spend with my hubby and kids or would I work 80 hours a week?

Trish Ryan said...

For me, the big "what if" has always been "What if I hadn't gone to law school?" I went because that was the trajectory life had me on, and I hadn't explored any other post-college options. But what if I'd deferred for a year to waitress at a ski resort? What if I'd switched to a PhD program? What if I'd moved home to Maine and managed the boutique I worked at that sold $500 sweaters? What if I'd joined the Peace Corps?(okay, that was never really an option...)

You're right...you don't have to regret a choice to wonder what if :)

Grits said...

I always wonder 'what if' when I think about my choice of schools for college. I (immaturely) followed a boy to the college of his choice (which also happened to be my mom's alma matter) instead of following scholarships, schools closer to home, or bigger opportunities. That relationship failed, but the good news is that I stayed afterwards and met my future husband, so I can't say I regret it as much as I wonder about it sometimes...

Amy Nathan said...

I was the only 8th grader at Weight Watchers, and it was back in the day when you couldn't eat eggs and you had to eat liver. I weighed my portions and went to meetings and clapped (as Weight Watchers do) for my fellow losers. I lost some weight and grew a bit that summer. I looked good and felt great.

And then I hit puberty and put the weight back on. And then some.

What if I had never regained that weight? What would high school and college have been like if I'd been one of the skinny girls?

Would I have succumbed to pressure and been less tolerant of others? Would I liked different boys? Had different friends? I like to think not, but I will never know.

I blog at www.AmySueNathan.com

Allison Winn Scotch said...

I just wanted to thank everyone for posting their what-if moments, and hope others keep 'em coming. These are SO COOL to read...does anyone else feel that way? It's like, no matter how wonderful your life may be, it's hard not to wonder...and it's neat to know that this is so universal.

Thanks everyone!

Anne said...

What-ifs are such universal themes, aren't they?

One of my biggest what if moments came while eating French fries in the South Street Seaport.

I was in my early twenties and had taken the train down from Montreal. I had a huge wad of cash and traveler’s checks tucked into a snazzy purple bag that hung around my neck. It also housed my passport and a round-the-world ticket good for the coming year. NYC was my first stop, the next one: Delhi.

I was spending a couple days with my friend, Mike, who worked on Wall Street. I adored Mike. And he had a huge crush on me. Big, sweet, puppy dog crush.

It was my last day in town. I met Mike at his office after work and we headed to the Seaport. We were sitting across from each other at a table, drinking beers from the bottle and sharing fries. Mike turned to me, looked me in the eye.

“Should I wait for you?”

I froze. I could see two paths. One was comforting, safe: Mike, marriage, a fun life spent skiing and traveling. The other was completely uncharted.

I shook my head. His face fell. I sipped my beer and tried to avoid his hurt eyes.

He dropped me at the airport the next morning and I didn’t see him again for several years. By then I was back in Canada, attending grad school (living on a grad student’s budget). He was married and living near Boston. I visited him one weekend and saw first hand all that I had given up: a big comfortable house, a loving husband and excited soon-to-be father, all the outdoor toys I could ever have wanted, exciting trips. It was a whole different life. In the years that followed, I often wondered if I made the wise choice. When I was painfully lonely, I comforted myself with the what if fantasy. But now,multiple degrees in hand, happily married, recently moved to Vermont, with a successful writing career, I know what I would have missed had I taken that easy, comforting path. And I have no regrets.

Cheers,
Anne (not really blogging at the moment)

Eileen said...

Brilliant contest. I bow before your marketing genius.

And for those of you lucky enough to score copies- you are sooooo going to love it.

Leslie said...

10 years later, I still wonder what my life would be life if I had chosen a different college. I debated a long time between 2 schools and finally just woke up one morning and picked. My college involvement at a state university really I believe made me who I am. My sorority sisters are still my closest friends in the world; my leadership experiences I learned from being a Student Government officer I still use in corporate America; my degree program gave me a love of learning. None of those things would have been possible at the small college I ended up rejecting for the larger school. I'm sure I would have still had an enjoyable experience at the other school--but I wouldn't be the person I am today, that's for sure.

Great contest-and I am a blogger. Cuteonthecheap.com

LLA said...

My what if moment... My husband (of 18 years!) and I still talk about this one:

To make a long story short - Bubba and I had mutual friends in college. As a matter of fact, he was in a band with 3 of my very best friends. But Bubba and I never really hit it off. We were aware of each other, but not particularly fond of one another.

One day, I went over to the dorm where all three of my friends lived. I was bored and looking for someone to play with, or something to do. Sadly, no one was home. I was bored out of my skull and decided that if there was no one to play with, that maybe I could just spend the afternoon with a book. I've always loved books.

I was about to trek over to the library - but as I was doing so, I realized I was walking past Bubba's door. Vaguely, I remembered one of our mutual friends telling me that Bubba liked to read too. So I, bold as brass, just knocked on his door. When he answered - I said to him "I hear you have books. May I borrow something to read?"

Needless to say, he was startled. We weren't friends. He mumbled something along the lines of "yeah, sure" - basically he wanted to get me off his doorstep, to go away!

So I browsed his books, quickly made a selection and left. I'd like to think that I said "thank you" but I probably didn't, seeing as how we weren't friends and all. (I was such a class act in my college days!)

I spent a lovely afternoon and much of the night reading. And the next morning, I returned Bubba's book to him. (I get anxious when I loan someone a book and they keep it forever...) In retrospect, he looked a little bit perplexed, but I didn't think anything of it.

What I didn't realize was that while I knew that Bubba liked to read, he didn't know that I did too. And that I read kind of freakishly fast (it's my one savant talent!) So he somehow got it in his mind that I pretended to borrow a book from him so that I could talk to him. In fact, he decided that I must have it really bad for him that I couldn't even wait a reasonable amount of time before giving the book back to him. Obviously, I must have a crush on him....

And since he thought that I liked him - he started being nice to me. And once he started being nice to me, I realized that he was a pretty good egg. We started dating shortly thereafter... And the rest, as they say, is history...

So - what if one of my friends *had* been home? What if I hadn't been too lazy to walk over to the library to get a book of my own? What if I'd borrowed a different book? (Because that's the punchline to this story - I borrowed "The Stand" by Stephen King. That's what made Bubba so sure that I was inventing reasons to come by and see him, so sure was he that no one could read that book in under a day!)

That's probably the smallest and yet largest "what if" moments...

lla
of the now largely defunct "Bad Fortune Cookie" - http://badfortunecookie.blogspot.com

more recently a FaceBook junkie.

the Homesteader said...

Oh my God. The Stand in a day? I would have thought you had ulterior motives too!

ramblin' girl said...

I waited tables in college. One night, I was talking with one of my tables about what I wanted to be when I grew up. (Yes, they asked. I mentioned I was still deciding but considering one of a few things. When I mentioned one, the wife got all excited. Indicating her husband worked for a local organization that was in one of the fields I was considering. He wasn't in the job I was considering, but he gave me the name of the person I should talk to, and said he's put in a good word.

About a week later, after my brief interview, I began my internship for the organization. I later went to grad school in the field. And not long after graduating, started the job I have now. (My job is actually another series of what-if moments.) I love my job, the field I'm in, and the organizations I work with.

I wonder what might have happened if that couple had been sat in a different section that night. If my life would have looked very different.

Great contest!
my blog: ramblings of a curious mind

Kristen said...

Allison:

I was just contemplating this "what if" question outloud this morning; not about my own life, but rather when I was reading about that plane accident with Travis Barker and DJ AM. Not that I'm particularly a fan of either, but I was just struck by the idea of "what if they had sat somewhere else in the plane?" Obviously, those two survived for some reason and I just got thinking, what if they had chosen a different seat.

This question also plagued me after 9/11. I was just struck by how simple decisions (that any of us would make without thinking twice) changed some people's lives forever. I wrote a song and one verse of the lyrics was "Early to work, or running late, not knowing how it sealed their fate. We watched the terror fill the sky; a city torn, a nation cried. And some who stopped to watch their children play, were saved by grace that fateful day."

And on it went. But the thing I realized was how huge these "what if" moments were. What if this person hadn't stopped to help their child get on the school bus? or what if this other person had called in sick that day like they may have contemplated.

I guess there are always two sides to that what-if. Kind of the "every action has an equal and opposite reaction." So if you ask what you might have gained by making a certain choice, you also have to contemplate what you may have lost.

Kris

Therese said...

Eleven years ago I was working at a fabric shop and looking at colleges for my oldest daughter, a difficult task, having never attended college myself. Last fall, I received my Ph.D. and am currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow in Cell and Developmental Biology. Quite a change for a woman who never even took a Biology course in high school!

There are a lot of reasons and events that brought me from there to here, and both wonderful and difficult times from each stage of my life.

I always wonder, though, what if I had attended college right after high school? In what field would I have gotten a degree? Would I have made different choices about marriage and children?

There are many more "what ifs", but I just can't imagine giving up anything (or anyone) I've worked so hard for, even though the way has often been filled with obstacles. I look back now and remember how fearful and easily intimidated I always was. I still struggle with these issues today, but I am sure I am a much stronger person for the experiences I have had and the people I have met.

Larramie said...

Allison, did you write that TOML could be your BIG book? Ahem...just from these wonderful responses, I'd say it will be HUGE! ;)

Myowne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Myowne said...

What if? What if? What if? Like you, I have asked this question thousands of times, and specifically over my broken engagement, my choice of colleges, my choice of career moves, and my choice to choose anything at all(HA!). The one circumstance that popped into my head the second you asked for comments was the one involving a potential marriage. It's funny that my mind wandered into this very strange terrain while holding the infant daughter of my ex-fiance and his wife at church on Sunday.
When I was 22 I was supposed to be married to John and preparing to give him the myriads of children he was apparently dreaming about. But as can happen at 22, you can decide after a summer of galavanting with friends one last time not to jump that particular broom.
And 9 years later, you can be holding a baby that is his but not yours and cooing over her so adoringly. I wondered as I held his precious bundle of joy, what if I HAD married him? What if I was the one that decided to forego my trepidation and free-spiritedness and agreed to be his wife?
Would I be as fulfilled as I am today? Would I be as motivated to finish my Master's Degree, to write books, to start a creative writing and art-for-children nonprofit, and to pursue what I perceive as my destiny (like I am today at nearly 31 years of age)? What if I had said yes? What kind of wife and mother would I have been?

I held John's month-old daughter and wondered if my life would ever have been as healed then as it is right now. I was not remotely ready to be married at 22 - was still too selfish, was still too into my own beliefs about what he could do for me, and was still too enamored in the status symbol of being engaged with a big ring on my finger and not as into being a good wife as his wife now clearly is.

I am so grateful that my what if question was answered the moment I cradled his daughter in my arms, kissed her forehead, and handed her back to her mother. I am where I should be and so is she...and so is her mother.

PS. My blog is at myowneworlddestiny.blogspot.com

Mrs. B. said...

I have a couple of major "what ifs." My first is what if my first husband and I had never divorced. Would we have had more kids? Would we live in the same house? My other is what if I had never gotten married again? What would my life be like without all the chaos (good chaos mostly) of life with my husband, son, and daughter?

ebl said...

About 8 years ago my best friend and I found ourselves drifting apart as she pursued a husband and I a career. It happened so fast and there was never a big falling out- we just stopped talking. Now we are both married with children and completely different lives. Recently I was thinking what if we never drifted apart? What if we stayed best friends? Would we have been in each others weddings? Would our husbands be friends? Would our children play together? It broke my heart that we driffed apart and I have never been able to replace what we had with anyone else. I will always regret losing our friendship and always wonder what could have been.
I read too many blogs to find time to write me own :-}

ebl said...

I really should read before I hit send...that should have been
"write MY own"

CarolinaGirl said...

In March, I got "let go" from a job that made hit snooze on the alarm clock for an hour before dragging myself out of bed. What if I were still stuck in that dreadful but secure job? I wouldn't have experienced a summer to rival the ones I enjoyed as a kid. I wouldn't have start my blog (http://drennaville.blogspot.com/) as a way of trying to figure out if writing is my true passion. I wouldn't have moved to Washington, D.C. for my new really great job. I look forward to even more benefits from this "what if".

Sarah Yost said...

I always wanted to live in New York City and even went there on a college scouting trip. But I got too freaked out navigating the city. I couldn't figure out how to hail a taxi, my aunt told me to stay out of the subway, the guy selling books on the street was unimpressed with my midwestern charm, so I balked. I don't remember what excuse I gave myself, but I didn't move there.

I've often wondered what would have happened if I'd had enough courage to take a deep breath and try.

Robin Shreeves said...

I posted way near the top but forgot to mention that I do have a blog.

Nice reading everyone's comments.

Sarah Yost said...

Oh, yeah. I blog at teatreeandrest.blogspot.com.

Come visit.

MollyWood said...

I agree, there's very little in my life I would do over, but there are so many choices and decisions that could have made things SO different....down to answering a phone call.
My biggest what if, after thinking about this for most of the day. When I finished graduate school, I moved to Atlanta and tried desperately to find a public relations job in a newly post- 9-11 world. Needless to say, it was an interesting adventure. But I did not get offered the most amazing job at a law firm. Instead, I got an offer to move back to the small Central Florida town I grew up in....and I took it. Mostly because I was scared. And now, six years later, I wonder what my life would be like if I had stayed in Atlanta and stuck it out. I think I would be in a very different position than I am now...but I would have missed out on so many cool things. And maybe a few very sad things too!

Welcome to MollyWood! said...

Oooh...I blog at thisismollywood.blogspot.com.....

Come and visit.

Sandra said...

What if I had said yes? My dad called one afternoon to ask me to play nine holes with him. He would leave work early and get us a tee-time at one of our regular places. I'm a lousy golfer but I cherished the hours on the lush courses of Michigan with my favorite man. But that afternoon, I said no. I already had dinner plans with a friend. If I had said yes, my dad wouldn't have been in the office at 5:30pm when an angry man came in with a gun. He wouldn't have seen his colleague and friend of twenty years get his face blown against the wall. He wouldn't have heard the gunman shout, "I've got enough bullets in here for all of you." And my dad wouldn't have been shot twice in the torso as he tried to take cover under his desk. If I had said yes that day, my father and I wouldn't have had that talk after he got home from the hospital- the one where I told him I had decided never to have children because the world was so full of evil. He sat on the sofa beside me with his torso full of staples after almost being murdered and insisted that life held infinitely more joy than pain.

www.sandrajoseph.com
www.sandrajoseph.blogspot.com

SavingStacy said...

The what if moment brought to mind is What If I hadn't gone 'all the way' for the first time with my first boyfriend that led me to choose not to have a child. What if I had said no to him, what if I said yes I'll keep the baby, what if women didn't have the right to choose? I'll be thinking of these what if's for the rest of the day as almost 20 years after my what if moment I chase around my two toddlers that fill my life with more joy than I could have possibly imagined.

aichaku-愛着 said...

It was pouring heavily and I was heading toward my destination with determination. It didn't cross my mind that I should forget about walking all the way in the rain just to attend an interview for job that I really didn't need, that would pay me a couple of miserable dollars an hour. I got the job, despite being completely soaked and then I met my husband there a couple of days later, at the workplace, he was my co-worker and he asked me out just a few days before I left the job for another more permanent one.

So, I've always wondered, what if I had just felt a bit tired about the torrential rain and avoided going for that interview. I never would have met my husband, very likely never would have married and quite possibly I wouldn't be who I am today. I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing but I'm pretty sure I'm not very happy right now and I'm quite sure it's all linked to that fateful day when I decided it was so important for me to get that job!

shopgirl said...

One of my biggest "What if" moments happened about 6 years ago when I went to Maui, HI with my now BFF (then, friend from work) for her wedding over Memorial Day. I wasn't in the wedding but I shared a condo with the maid of honor and best man. We were the only singletons there. It was a very "Real World" meeting at the airport - because we honestly didn't know each other (really) until we all met at the airport as our flights arrived. (The Best Man was from Chicago, Maid of Honor from Michigan and I am from Ohio.)

Side note: The three of us got along GREAT and had the best vacation ever. Six years later and every Memorial Day weekend I get out my pictures and just smile remembering the best 9 days in my life.

Anyway - the first night there after dinner – Best Man and I sat out on the beach with a makeshift cooler (trash can from the room with ice) and a case of Corona's and just talked and talked and drank, and drank. Maid of Honor was invited to join us – but declined because she was tired and full from dinner. Before we knew it, it was 5am and the sun was rising. Nothing happened that night (romantically) except that we became great friends and had an absolute GREAT week together. (All 3 of us) Over the course of the next 7 days we were as thick as thieves and never left each others side. On our last night in Maui (The maid of honor had left for home the night before) we had dinner and a little too much to drink - which would usually mean that something ROMANTIC actually DID happen right? Wrong! Way too much alcohol and we just both fell asleep. I had to leave the next day and wouldn't see him again until the reception back home for the newlyweds.

When we met up at the reception, in the newlywed’s hometown in Michigan, and it was as if we never missed a beat, we were reminiscing about the trip – checking out my tattoo. Oh yeah, I always wanted a tattoo – he had a couple and said he’d go with me – so I have a tattoo to remind me of that trip. At the end of the night Best Man drove me back to my hotel and at a red light I leaned over and planted a big kiss on him and told him that I’d been dying to do that since Maui. He said “me too!” Unfortunately, we were sharing a room with the Maid of Honor and others from the wedding so we would again have to wait to be with each other. The next morning we had to be up early at the newlywed’s house to watch them open gifts - ugggh!! All I wanted to do was consummate my new relationship with Best Man – not watch someone else open gifts!! But like a really cheesy romantic comedy – this was not in the works for us. You see, the day went on and on, and on and on – and eventually we had to go our separate ways, he back to Chicago and me back to Ohio because (like an IDIOT) I rode to Michigan with the newlyweds and had to leave when they did.

We tried to keep in touch via email and phone calls, but you know how that goes. Throw in the fact that Best Man was interviewing and eventually landed a new job, time was sparse. It just never came to fruition. Except, one night 9 months later, he came to visit the newlyweds unrepentantly. At this time, however, I was kind of dating someone else. While Best Man was at the newlyweds house, my BFF’s new Husband told Best Man about this someone else and this sealed the fate of any relationship between me and Best Man.

It’s been a little of six years now, newlyweds are still married and have 2 children (one even named after me!) and the Maid of Honor is also married with children. Best Man and me? STILL SINGLE. NEITHER OF US DATING ANYONE.

Do I think What If? All the time . . . .

shopgirl said...

Just read my story and I realized I have a MAJOR Typo in the last paragragph - it should read:
Except, one night 9 months later, he came to visit the newlyweds UNEXPECTANTLY.

Please forgive me! ; )

Swishy said...

These all give me goosebumps!!! And your book is great!

I got to see one of my "what ifs." After college, I moved to a new city by myself instead of staying with my college boyfriend. It has been a long, bumpy, hard road, and sometimes I would think, what if I had just settled down? Well, I was traveling for work and all of a sudden it hit me--he lives here! With his wife and kids! And my hotel is only 10 minutes away from his house! A little Google research later, I saw where he lived and saw him and his family. That would be have been my life ... and it looked like a nice life, a lovely life, but I knew in that moment that even though my life was messy and complicated, it could also be pretty fun and exciting, and I was glad it was the one I had picked.

Ryan and Abby Green said...

The "what if" question is my favorite because it seems as if it leads to a chain of events. Mine stems back to "what if" I hadn't gone to Albion College where I dated a guy for four years, and followed him out to Boston, only to break up shortly after moving out there. Then jumping back to Albion College, my girl friend from Albion came out to do an internship in Boston and lived with me for that time, and tried to set me up with a guy she knew through her boyfriend. Although we talked a lot, and he convinced me to buy a guitar and take lessons, nothing more continued there romantically. But the big "what if" is that if he hadn't talked me into taking guitar lessons, I would never have my now husband...who was my guitar teacher! :)

p.s. my blog is ryanandabbygreen.blogspot.com

Aimee said...

I wonder what would have happened if my ex boyfriend and I hadn't parted ways. I was making plans to move North to be with him when he decided to move across the country and end our relationship. At the time it seemed like the worst thing ever but it propelled me to examine my life and create my own happiness. I quit my job, sold my home, moved and changed my life finding a new city, new career, new priorities and ultimately new love. What if he hadn't ended it? Where would I be now? Sometimes what seems terrible ends up terrific!

Amber said...

My "what if" also involves a man. I had two to choose from at that time (what a life!)... a man I had dated for yrs, who was unable to commit and our relationship wasnt completely healthy. And the new guy, who lived abroad, who I didnt know as well, but was ready to take risks (with me!) and give me his heart. It would have been so easy to take the simple route, the road I knew. I almost did, but I didnt. Happily married 12 yrs and two great little boys later, my mind goes back to that... what if? It would ALL be different now. How did I know, what in that moment pushed me to the right decision? I cant believe the courage I had to jump into the relative unknown.

I have a facebook and myspace page and Ill chat about your new book regardless! Love your work and appreciate your great advice.