You hear “maybe in another life” a lot, often in conjunction with the ending of a relationship. There is a theory called the theory of the multiverse. I first heard of this theory from an article by Gaby Dunn, the concept seemed so riveting and made me rethink everything.
That every decision we make, every path we elected to not go down splits off into another universe. That there’s a universe out there were things turned out completely different for me.
This idea explains, at least partially, the idea of parallel universes.
It follows the belief that there is an infinite number of universes that exist simultaneously based on different permutations. Many media channels use this concept and there is some scientific reasoning behind it. But I make no claim to understand science in-depth, but what I do understand is the idea of regret and thinking about what would have happened if things went another way in life.
So the idea that in one universe all the stars align for someone the way they desired. That they ended up with the one that got away, that they chased that childhood dream, packed up all their things and moved out of the country, whatever. I know a lot of people who think this way. That spend so much time worried about choices and about maybe in another life.
You don’t get another life
Religious beliefs aside, the facts are that there is no alternate timeline you get to live in with all the knowledge you possess now. There is no reset button. You don’t get a parallel universe to be happy, so why not try to be happy now?
There’s this pressure where people feel like they need to check off boxes and if they don’t, they didn’t succeed at life. That they missed their ‘soulmate’ or ‘dream job’ because of a choice they previously made.
That’s terrifying and I don’t understand how anyone could live with that. I read a book once on this concept, where the main characters life splits based on one choice she made. And even though her life turned out differently based on each choice, her view of the universe really resonated with me.
“I think I have to believe that life will work out the way it needs to. If everything that happens in the world is just a result of chance and there’s no rhyme or reason to any of it, that’s just too chaotic for me to handle. I’d have to go around questioning every decision I’ve ever made, every decision I will ever make. If our fate is determined with every step we take it’s too exhausting. I’d prefer to believe that things happen as they are meant to happen.”
― Taylor Jenkins Reid, Maybe in Another Life
I’m not saying you have to believe everything happens for a reason or on the flipside, that everything is completely yours to control. Believe what you want to believe. But what I am saying is to chill. That things that are supposed to happen will happen, in time. Life would be overwhelming if you doubted every choice you made. At some point, you have to trust that things will work out, that “maybe in another life” is a cop-out and that you have to live in this one.