Ran across the following statement recently and it has stayed on my mind since that first reading:
"We live in a world of infinite possibilities and it creates the illusion that the time to embrace them is also infinite." (here)
Years ago, a gray-haired attending physician sat me on his knee (metaphorically) and told me, "Jessica, one's college years and early twenties are about opening doors. You work as hard as you can to open as many doors for yourself as possible. But, then comes the time for making choices, for narrowing your focus. The fact is, your late twenties and early thirties are about closing doors."
These statements are sisters, really, all about the finite nature of our time here and the inherent, if unspoken, abandoment of certain opportunties that travels hand-in-hand with our decision to actively pursue the futures we choose for ourselves.
Every Spring holds the memory of the Winter that came before it, and the Autumn that will come after; every choice holds the ghosts standing behind the doors we closed along the way and the stillborn future we will never know.
As I make the transition from strictly door-opener to sometimes door-closer, I find myself taking stock. Indeed, I am quite satisfied by the life I've made thus far, and the people in it; however, that doesn't mean that I don't occasionally take a brief moment to mourn those paths I didn't choose along the way.