In the film ‘Sliding Doors’,Gwyneth Paltrow narrowly misses a tube train which would change the course of her life. In the film we get the privilege of seeing the two paths her life could have taken – the parallel universes that could exist with every decision we make.
As a bit of a Whovian, it’s no surprise that I love the parallel universe theory. According to one of the many theories, science cannot tell what the shape of space-time is, but there some suggest that it is flat (as opposed to spherical or even donut-shape) and stretches out infinitely. But if space-time goes on forever, then it must start repeating at some point, because there are a finite number of ways particles can be arranged in space and time. So if you look far enough, you would encounter another version of you — in fact, infinite versions of you. Some of these twins will be doing exactly what you’re doing right now, while others will have worn a different outfit this morning, and still others will have made vastly different career and life choices.
It’s always funny to think where we would be now if we had perhaps made a different choice at a different time. Would we have still ended up where we are? Would we have even met any of the people who are significant in your life now?
What if, in a parallel universe, I had accepted a place at a different university? My life path would have been changed and I would not have the same friendships I have today.
Maybe, in one of these parallel universes, I chose an alternative career path. I might have pursued my early ambition to be a doctor, or perhaps I actually focused on being a writer.
Perhaps, in a parallel universe, long ago I plucked up the courage to actually tell the boy I was hopelessly in love with for the bulk of my late teens and early twenties. I wonder what might have come of that story.
If there’s anything I’ve learned about relationships it’s that so much of the initial success is in the timing. I have a history of meeting the right person at the wrong time. With time comes clarity and sometimes it is years before you realise that, while they were right for you, the timing was wrong.
The truth is that we make choices and decisions and take paths in our lives. Our paths will cross others at different times. Sometimes our paths cross multiple times. Sometimes we are lucky and our paths join up, sometimes they run in parallel, and sometimes they go in opposite directions.
I am thankful for every one of those paths.
I wonder where my path is leading to next…