After signing up on Storylane, one of the first writing prompts that appears is this question:
"What is the one thing you would change about your life?"
It's funny. When someone asks you what you would change about your life, immediately your mind gravitates towards those elements of your identity, such as your job, your financial status, your education, your relationship, those aspects of life that directly affect you, and more often than not-- those things you regret. I often dwell on this subject like many others, and I've come to realize that I have no desire in life except to make an impact -- a noticeable difference in the world.
I guess becoming incredibly wealthy would help magnify any effects my actions create, but I actually don't have economic goals (though having enough to be sufficiently independent and buy nice clothes would be preferable). This is probably due to the fact that I wanted to be an artist as a child and I think at my core I still desire abstract things (fame, respect, understanding, adoration) over material wealth. I do believe that if I keep going on the path I'm going, I'll get closer to my goal. I'm sure anyone can "change the world" meaningfully if they truly want to.
However, the one thing that has always worried me, and has always filled me with self-doubt, regret, and anger, is how selfish this goal is when I take into account the responsibility I have to my parents. My parents are older than parents of peers my age. I was conceived 7 years later than planned, and consequently their health condition is also 7 years worse than parents of many of my friends.
Having just graduated and on the path of "self-discovery" and adventure, I'm prepared to live out of boxes and eat chips to survive the next few years-- but what am I to do for them? I am an only child and as their health considerably deteriorates (as it has in the past few months) I wonder whether I should've stayed in my marketing career, or actually put my finance major to use.
Instead I am here, half convinced I am at the beginning of an incredible journey, and half despising myself for being so selfish to disregard my responsibilities and fearing my future regret.
So the one thing I'd change depends on the situation, but it'd be one of two:
a) I'd change the physical, financial, and emotional conditions of my parents, or at least so that they would be a few years younger in terms of their health
b) I'd change the decision I made last year to "pursue my dreams" and instead begin a stable, secure career in the finance industry.
What would you change?