I heard a story once about a girl whose parents were murdered right in front of her. She spent the rest of her life selflessly devoted to one person, with seemingly no will of her own.
I knew a man once whose boyhood was robbed by war. He spent the rest of his life addicted to self-perceived superiority.
I role-played a character once whose childhood was brutalized by violence. She spent the rest of her life as an assassin.
I dreamt once about a boy who was paralyzed when someone he loved stuck a knife in his back. He spent the rest of his life wheeling his wheelchair down the road, alone, telling himself he was becoming the next great inspiration to the world, when really, he was just waiting to die.
I listened to another man once whose boyhood was robbed by war. He spent the rest of his life singing out his love to everyone who would listen.
I met a woman once whose first sexual experience was to be tortured. She spent the rest of her life as a Healer, touching people’s lives with wisdom.
I read a book once about a man whose people were butchered. He spent the rest of his life helping people live meaningfully.
I met a mother once who had grown up terribly neglected. She spent her life learning and growing, and raised her own child with deep, loving attentiveness.
I read a love poem once. It was titled “The Day I Saw My Future Unfold.” It was about a walk in a forest. The vibrancy of life. Beauty. The ecstasy of truly trusting someone with your whole heart. It sounded so perfect.
I wonder if their future unfolded the way they saw it.
So often, it doesn’t.
But in any terrain, you choose your path.