When you love someone, their happiness becomes like unto your own. The smile on their face becomes the one on your own.
Yet when does the delight in their happiness become a responsibility to maintain it? How does one fight the compulsion to keep another happy at the expense of your own happiness? How do you weigh the consequences of finding your own happiness when you know it will cause unhappiness to those that you love? When is it ok to choose your own happiness over someone else's?
Long have I caused my parents distress and perceived myself as a disappointment to them. They have not said so, in so many words, yet I know that the life I live and the choices I've made are not the ones they wanted me to make.
I find myself approaching a crossroad. A crossroad that has the potential to bring me great happiness and contentment the like of which I've never known but only dreamt of. Yet if I take that path, Mom will cry, Dad will be saddened, their happiness diminished. For that path will lead me far from my home, far from the place of my birth. And it will not be an easy path. It is fraught with challenges, obstacles, change.
I do not want to remain on the path I am on and die regretting the life I might have led had I but stepped onto the crossroads and taken a chance on a dream of my own.
The alternative is to continue on as I am now, knowing full well that when I have walked this path to completion I will look back with regret for what might have been, but could not be.
Yet what if I am wrong? What if the path at the crossroads leads to disappointment, disillusionment? Then again, what if it does not? Is it worth the risk, to take the chance? Are the consequences of reaching for happiness and not getting it irrevercible?
What is the alternative to maintaining the current path? If nothing changes...regret.