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What If?

I am a girl who is often consumed by the ‘what ifs’ of life, I find it hard to let things go and often mull over the alternatives to things I have done in life and wonder where I might be now if I had made different decisions.
I hate making big decisions, not that many people do, but I struggle, because there is always two courses of action, normally leading down two very different paths in life. For example my choice to leave my first university and transfer to Strathclyde was agonising, and for months after I wondered if I had made the right decision and was often filled with regret and remorse, mostly because I would never know.

I seem to suffer from a common illness known as the grass is greener-itis where I think that the grass is indeed greener on the other side and that my grass looks a bit brown and sorry for itself (especially is this heat wave). And I seem to have reached this impossible impasse once again. My PhD is causing me many sleepless nights, I toss and turn wondering if I have made the right decision in pursuing this career path, is it really what I want to do to? What the hell will I do when I finish? Is it all worth it? This has been going on since about January time and I even tried to quit once (I cried in reception to one of the admin team) but then I think well if I quit my PhD what would I do?

The job market is brutal and there are pretty much no jobs in marketing that don’t require me living in London (no offence to London but I just can’t live/commute there), plus I am 26 and would be starting at the bottom even though I have a masters! Add the fact I have limited work experience, which now seems to be a mandatory requirement for getting a job (where they think I have time to get my degree and have do a meaningful job, they must think I have a time turner from Harry Potter) and that leaves me feeling full of dread and panic that I will never get a job and just be unemployed mooching off my parents forever, giving up my PhD would also mean having to move back in with my parents (my room isn’t big enough for the amount of clothes I have acquired and if I am going to be jobless I at least want to look fantastic).
After talking to several people it has become clear that leaving my PhD would cause too much regret, I would forever wonder and think about it and know I was so close to having a PhD, yet I through it all away and in reality I think I am just scared/worried about failing or not being able to do it, if I leave before I’m pushed then it was always my choice.

This ‘what if’ has also reared its ugly head in my love life, now this doesn’t mean me and my boyfriend are splitting up or anything has/is happening, remember it is the ‘what if’. I have recently started talking more to a boy, a boy I have been friends with for years, a boy I was crazy about for a long time and would have probably done anything to be with. We just clicked, I don’t think I have ever met someone who I felt so connected to and I really can’t explain it but we just have this vibe. I knew he felt the same way but it just never happened (for several reasons) and now I have moved to the other end of the country and have a boyfriend, so is unlikely to ever happen but I can’t help but wonder ‘what if’ about him, will he be the one who got away? Was he meant to be more in my life but the timing just wasn’t right? We still talk about the idea of ‘us’ (more in a reminiscent manner) and we both feel some regret over it and both agree that we had something special and that we could have had something great (if you are reading this I am very sorry for airing our laundry so publicly).

Don't get me wrong, i know i am very lucky and that my grass to a lot of people will look great, The chance to do a PhD, fully funded, at one of the best uni's in the country is a great honor, i have an amazing boyfriend and family/friends, this is by no means me saying i am unhappy with my lot in life, i know that what i have is very good, it is about my and maybe people as a generals, need to compare our lives to others or what we could have had, i think it is only natural that we do this.

Is there a cure to this illness or while I forever live my life wondering ‘what if’?

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