"Just so y'all know I brag about him every time he does something good because I realize that at 14, he's just one dumb ass decision away from ruining his life...."
I could say some things about people who believe this (that is pretty darn close to a quote) about their children, and I would believe those things to be true but they would be speculations into motivations and frankly the behavior itself is enough to speculate about.
So listen to me. There are decisions, lots of them, that affect your life, short term and long term. But there isn't a decision that ruins your life. You have the life you have. Make the most of it. Enjoy it. Be brave. Do real shit. Sure, sometimes you have to act "as if" to get there. Get there anyway.
And there are some things that if you don't start at 14, or at 3, you aren't going to get there. I'm not gonna be Buck. Maybe if I hadn't had 20 years off, but I doubt that. Besides that's not what I thought I wanted then back then. I wouldn't have known to have wanted that back then.
And maybe sometimes we should give thanks to the Gods for unanswered prayers.
Then there are things you do thinking (and often with everyone else thinking) they are exactly what you should be doing with your life that, it turns out, are not at all what you should be doing with your life. Although I don't believe in coincidences or accidents, and I realize, for example, the role that college played in my life but it isn't something that was in and of itself valuable to my life. I'm not sure what else I could have done with that time and realize that it was likely just part of my re-entry process because, yes, things do have consequences. And life has a process. Pay attention to the process and the task will take care of itself.
But seriously, I made a decision that "ruined" my life. Or a series that fell one into the other and exactly where that fork in the road was, well, I bet I know someone who thinks she knows where that particular fork was but I really only know the last one at which I could have stopped it. Which was lunch.
Other people may have thought, or may think, that I ruined my life when I didn't go to college out of high school. Because pre-vet. (Even tho when I thought about doing that again when I was 40 I decided I didn't actually want to BE a vet which at 18 I hadn't the integration to fathom through.)
Or it could be a dozen or more other times, before and maybe even after the abyss.
Certainly a whole lot of people wouldn't be able to see the life I have here as not "ruined". Yesterday I slept in, farted around, rolled hay (with family) in to the animals, carried wood, split wood, did dishes, fed fires, made bread, ate, wrote, wrote some more, debated whether a dress on tumblr was white or blue and researched why, discussed manatees and steller sea cows and dodo birds and Przewalski's horses and have humans caused all extinctions and did flowers kill the dinosaurs. And other things. Today was likewise full but different as a "work" day, a day off the farm, but still a day with a daughter, and a day full of horses, a day during which "the work" was resumed, a day with some time spent with friends and also home before dark to eat supper and bake a birthday cake. I live in a house my husband and I built together, up a road we know intimately from walking it, with family who are interesting and useful people, and eat food we grow a good deal (but by no means most) of. Pretty much when I ask myself "what do I want to be doing in this moment" what I am doing is it. I don't long to get away (except I did long a bit for February to be over). And pretty much every day I learn some things. There is no "arrived".
Right now I look at a large arc of my life and see this: that I have spent some time learning to feel honestly, that I spent more time learning to think honestly (deeply, clearly, authentically, whatever the words are). And that I've spent the most time learning to think AND to feel, together, not one or the other. To be honest thoughtwise and to be honest feelingwise in the same moment and in the same movement. There is no "arrived".
It is like there is no "arrived" in homesteading. There is trying to be a strong link in the chain and there is trying to join links and it takes both. Give and take: exchange-exchange.
You know very well, to each his own. Live and let live (or live and let die). And it harm none, do as you will.
But I do think my "dumb decision" helped to make sure I was to perfectly become a homesteading cowgirl. And I'm pretty good with that.
Although it could all fall apart and find success something else tomorrow. I learned that from the abyss.