I laughed, but at the same time it made me a little...sad? That's not quite the right word. That feeling when you wonder how your life could have been if you'd taken another path. Not out of regret but just out of curiosity. Whatever that word is.
Because the truth is, I wasn't so bad at sports as a kid. I was fast, always in the top five running the mile. My single season on swim team, I went from horrible to one of the best backstrokers my age on the team. I liked to win...really, really hated to lose. I was pretty coordinated, and with more practice I might have been an athlete.
But then I...got boobs (and not small ones). I'm not even kidding. That's why I stopped doing sports. I got SO self-conscious because of my changing figure—and boys noticing—that I couldn't stand to move more than necessary. I stopped running and swimming, refused to dance in public, and never stepped foot on a trampoline again. I was just soooo embarrassed all the time, and it didn't help that I did get crap about the way I looked.
I do wonder sometimes what my life would have been like if things had been different. If I wasn't teased. If I didn't feel so self-conscious. If I just would have kept practicing. Not that I feel like I missed out in any way, but it makes me acutely aware that every little choice in my life has led to where I'm at now. And if I had made different ones, I could be a totally different person. I could have been a high school athlete instead of the girl who spent all extra hours in the art room. Who knows?
It's interesting to think about, and it reminds me of just how intricate a character can be. Every little choice we make in a book changes it. That is both cool and scary. Our stories aren't set in stone, and it's important to explore all the options as we write. Unlike life, we can explore all the paths and see which one makes for the most compelling read.