Some days you come to a fork in the road. You know that both roads will eventually take you to your same destination. You know that both roads will take you there in the same amount of time. And you debate which way to take. Finally, you decide you are being silly. There is no difference between these choices, and your life will continue on exactly the same. So you go one way.
You get pulled over in a speed trap.
Now you have a speeding ticket. And a fine to pay, which, while not crippling, is a noticeable deduction from your spendable money.
That meaningless choice now has consequences.
Maybe this fine means you will go out less. There will be experiences you do not have, food you do not eat, people you will never meet.
Or maybe that money would have been spent on a new, addicting video game that would have kept you in the house, staring at a television screen. With its absence, you spend more time going on walks and exercising, and feel healthier as a result.
Maybe you drive slower for the next few weeks, and you avoid a life-threatening accident.
Maybe you drive slower for the next few weeks, and you arrive late for an important job interview.
Maybe the situation makes you contemplate the butterfly effect of every inconsequential decision, and you decide to write a blog post about your musings. Doing so inspires you, and you return to your writing after a long creative drought.
For positive or negative, your life has changed. You have shaped your life with an involuntary decision. And every decision you make will shape it further, your life trickling like a bead of dew down a fractal tree of infinite possibilities, each choice making you into the person you will one day have been. You are a multitude of endless lives that could be lived, more potential yous than there are atoms in your body. You are a cosmos of consequence.
All the same, I wish I’d taken the other road.