The Power of "What If"

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I’m currently feeling under the weather so I decided to stay in Saturday night.  I turned up the air (it was 100 degrees for the high) so I could cuddle up in my USC snuggie.  I grabbed a can of VERNORS, some saltine crackers and the remotes as I climbed into my oversized, leather recliner to watch Letters To Juliet.

I’m not usually a chick-flick kind of girl but since I have a great love for all things Italia and Shakespeare, I decided to purchase the movie (with a $5.00 off coupon).  For me, I think the real story is that of the Vanessa Redgrave character, not the Amanda Seyfried.  The love story of Amanda’s character Sophie and Redgrave’s grandson “Charlie” was forced and unrealistic.  But the love story of Claire searching for the man she left behind, that is the real love story in this film.

Apparently in Verona, according to the film, there is the “Casa de Guiletta.”  Women flock there to see the infamous balcony and to leave letters to Juliet, asking for her advice on all matters of the heart.  Everyday, the secretaries of Juliet collect the letters left behind and respond.  Whether or not this is true, I have no idea.  But I can’t imagine someone asking Juliet for love advice when she killed herself while in her early teens.  However, I will mark this as a place I want to visit when I finally go to Italy.

In the film, Sophie is on a pre-honeymoon in Verona but her fiance keeps leaving her to go do business for his restaurant in New York.  So she plays tourist on her own.  That’s when she happens upon Juliet’s house.  She watches as one of the secretaries gathers the letters and Sophie follows her.  The women invite her to help with the letters.  She returns with one of the women to collect letters and that is when a brick falls, exposing a letter that has been hidden for 50 years–Claire’s letter about leaving Lorenzo.  Sophie decides to respond to this letter which in return causes Claire to return to Italy, with her grandson in tow, to find out what happened to Lorenzo. 

We don’t find out what Sophie wrote until the end of the film.  She write to Claire about how powerful “what if” is and how it will haunt us forever until we find the courage to discover the answer for ourselves.  It is never too late to answer the question “what if.” 

For me, I think that is the most powerful moment of the film and something that every woman can relate to.  We all have “what if” questions haunting us.  What if I had made a different decision?  What if I had stayed with so and so?  What if I had said something?  What if?  What if?  What if?

I know I have hundreds of “what if” questions roaming around in my mind.  Some of them pertain to career choices and life choices while the majority pertain to romantic choices.  Some of the what if’s even seem to play out in my dreams.

But I have tried to convince myself that I need to stop asking myself “what if.”  Everything in life happens for a reason and every choice I have ever made has lead me to who I am today.  Sure, I wish some things had turned out differently but I don’t have a time machine.  I can’t go back into the past to fix certain things so I will stop asking “what if.”

Now, before I make a decision, I think about the possible regrets I could have from the decisions that I make.  I try to think of the “what if” questions before I make the decision.  And as for my past, I have to stop dwelling on it because I can’t change it.  I have to accept the decisions that I have made and remind myself that everything happens for a reason.

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