First Jeff, let me applaud your topic here as it resonated with me for many reasons. Second, I will answer the first of the two questions you posed at the end of your article because I have lived the alternative life that you described and successfully transitioned to a different life that I live today.
The answer for me to your second question has to do with not knowing and being okay with that and the possibilities the unknown brings. Why? Because after I got satisfied with the first change from the life I didn’t want to live I came to my second conclusion through a great deal of self examination about who I REALLY was.
That led me to where I am today and that is not only being okay with where I am, but also being okay with what is to come, even if that may not look like something I really want. Why? Because I have learned that I make the choices, as you have said, and I know that anything that comes I had a hand in and I can change it if I’m not completely satisfied.
The reason this brings me contentment is that it also brings me freedom. The kind of freedom that no one else can provide.
Blessings to you in your continued journey!