Life is Like a 'Choose Your Own Ending' Book

I used to read those Goosebumps books where you get to the end of the page, and it said something to the effect of, "If you opened the door to the car, go to page 34. If you walked down the trail instead, go to page 61." Surely Goosebumps wasn't the only book to do this, I was just an avid fan of theirs (the 90s!), so it instantly comes to mind.

I always loved those "choose your own ending" books. Even at the age of 8, I liked the idea of being in control of my decisions, fictional or not. They were better than the books that told me how things ought to end.

My precociousness faded a little once puberty hit, and I started listening to all the usual subscriptions for life, including keeping my actual subscriptions to seventeen and YM magazine, which always had articles on, "How to Make Him Like You by Changing Yourself." ...I'm pretty sure that was the actual title. I mean, every so often they'd have a girl power post, but it would quickly fade into the background amongst the articles on new fall trends and Britney Spears' abs.

I started learning early that I should start comparing myself to others. This process has continued ever since. And it happens to most of us, and not just to women. We see someone getting married, having babies, getting a promotion, moving abroad, etc. and we feel it in the pit of our stomachs. Why aren't I in that place? What is the matter with me? We silently replay these questions in our heads.

Thankfully, 8-year-old Ashley always swims to the surface of my deluded mind during these times, and reminds me of what I knew all along: I am exactly where I should be at this time and this place in my life. It's my own damn story, anyway! Furthermore, I am extremely pleased with where all of my friends are, whether it includes babies, marriage or new cities. Besides, what's the purpose of a bookstore that only carries one story? How boring that would be! We were made to have many different endings.

I turn 28 in a couple days, and I am content with where I am: single, living in London, completing a Master's (eek!), following my dreams, and...choosing my own ending. And we're not even to the end, yet.


  1. I think it would serve a lot of us well to have this line, " I am exactly where I should be at this time and this place in my life. It's my own damn story, anyway!" printed on our bathroom mirror.

  2. It's hard not to comapre yourself to others, but you're right, we're all different and we make our own choices, to be right where we should be. p.s. I love your shoes.

  3. i was a fan of Goosebumps too! 90s kids lol

    love this post :)

  4. It's always hard not to compare yourself to others (ha, Sam said the same). It's not easy. However, I learned that I am not other people. I am "me" and "me" goes another path an follows her dreams and passions and all and that is what makes me who I am. If I followed other people's path, or would in that way make my self be what others are too, life wouldn't be interesting at all. Does that make any sense?

    I'm proud of you for following your dreams and writing your own chapters. You can do this and I know you will. :) There will be many more chapters to in your life and it's going to be phenomenal. ;)


  5. i hope you had an amazing birthday party!!!!! i seriously considered coming for the w/e but my friend was back in town from tokyo :(
    and...my fave part about new years...is looking back on the other years and seeing all the things that you never imagined would have happened...and knowing that the year ahead will be full of the same!

  6. Ha ha ha, I remember a few of my friends were into these books but I never was! I never read a book like this.

  7. I liked Goosebumps, but I was more of Fear Street fan. I DO remember those choose-your-own-ending books! They were so much fun because you could read them a few times and come up with something totally different.

    Anyway, I think you have an awesome outlook on your life. Own it!

  8. In Canada at least, the series of books was called "Choose your own Adventure," which I think is pretty perfect for life.

    You're right, and we were talking about these things here too. We are where we are, and who's to tell us that's wrong? Especially when we're enjoying ourselves!

  9. Happy Birthday, Miss Ashley!


  10. Oh girl, we are far from the ending, we're right in the middle! And when one chapter ends, the next one starts :)

    On a side note, I have never heard of or seen books where you could choose your own ending! Sounds fun!

  11. I like the idea here. Always have. As long as you're always the one turning the page. Sometimes, you're not so lucky. It's been fun watching your story from this here blog. Have a great birthday!

  12. Happy Birthday in Scotland, my dear. Your ongoing narrative is always soothing to me.