The complex question of 'WHAT IF' and why having it in life is important to our wellbeing

No regrets. A sort of contemporary life mantra, which encourages us - if not demands from us - to live life to the fullest, to experience everything and anything so as never to wonder what if. But what if wondering “what if” is crucial to our personal story, to the development of a whole, wholesome, healthy psyche and individuality? 

I have come to find solace in the musings of my “what ifs” many a time. I have come to relish in the vast world of possibilities these questions offer, how maleable said scenarios are to my whims and moods, how empowering such thinking can be, how sexy the notion of the unknown really is.  

And so, I often find myself at odds with what the world (or contemporary society) feeds my ambitions. “Don’t wonder 'what if’ - you’ll drive yourself insane.” “It’s a leading cause of depression, to wonder what if.” … To wonder

1. [Mass noun] A feeling of amazement and admiration, caused by something beautiful, remarkable, or unfamiliar.

To wonder - to wander in one’s thoughts. To weave the threads of a thousand different possible futures into a panoply of dioramas, one more precious than the next.  

What is most often deemed a paralyzing notion has most often been exciting to me. A suspenseful blink into a parallel universe, or simply an expression of pure wanderlust. What if… we’d told each other how we felt? Where would we be? What if… I’d moved to Russia? What would I be doing now? Accompanied by some element of wistfulness, knowing that these questions will forever remain questions is comforting on some level. It promises a bottomless pit of a dream, an unwritten landscape that draws my imagination, shades it and sands it into what is exclusively mine to cherish and to nurture. My what if’s make me who I am, so there's no surprise that I have no regrets in regards to the worrying, wondrous woe of what if.


It's just about to be 2015, and I'm looking at my year in review. Looking back to shed some light on what's ahead, and what can I say? 2014 served up a real, big, fat, greasy dose of life. We hit milestones at light speed - graduation, weddings, funerals,
premieres, projects big and small, successes big and small, failures big and massive... just a real, big, fat, greasy dose of
real life. 

I understood this year that the universe has a nice way of tying loose ends. Coincidentally, on the holiday trip home, a dear friend's birthday party turned into a primary school and high school reunion. Friends who I hadn't seen for ages were also experiencing life in just as big, fat, and greasy a doses. Graduations, weddings, break-ups, funerals, careers taking off... And I was so darn glad to see that the people who had helped shape my thoughts, thinking, political opinions, social tendencies, pop culture interests were heading on their very own, diverse and exciting journeys. 

A year ago, I would've stood in the same room and insisted that I wasn't just an actress, I was a little bit of this, and a tidbit of that. This year I stood in the room and owned up to what I do for a living, and what I want to do for a living. I realized this year, and in that moment in particular, that I am an actress. First and foremost. And that I - excuse my French - fucking love it. 

Especially exhilarating in that moment was seeing my friends who come from a wide variety of fields and are pursuing diverse and eclectic lives and careers, recognize that in me. Recognize and respect me for who I am, and what I do. An actress, a comédienne, and hopefully, an artist. 

Montreal gave me ownership of that word, and I give Montreal thanks. 

New York City is saturated with people like me, so "actress" always comes with a light shrug, a modest denial, a brush aside (now, that might have something to do with the social and artistic climate in NYC, but that's a whole other can of worms). In 2015, it doesn't have to anymore. 

I make faces for a living. And I can't wait for the next time I get to do it again. Here's to 2015, and to our big, bad, bountiful, beautiful world. 


Photo credit: Gregory Isaac. Scranton, PA. A day off from Shakespeare.