I have always believed in fate and destiny. I have always believed that things happen for a reason and that we are destined to do certain things for and with certain people. In IF/THEN, Elizabeth witnesses fate as it interferes with her plans to start anew in a new city. The musical shows two different lives Elizabeth could have lived. Honestly, it was a little hard to follow but I enjoyed the moments when I saw Elizabeth address her conflicts with Josh (the love of her life) and Lucas (her childhood friend).
Yes, she cared for Lucas but she didn't want to have a child with someone she wasn't in love with. Yet, in another lifetime there she was accepting her life as a mother with Josh. It reminded me that the kind of love that bends you and changes you does exist. It brought me back to a time where I had that kind of love. The kind of love that caused me to bend all of my morals. The nostalgia felt refreshing.
I also liked the fact that in one of her lifetimes, Lucas is in a same sex relationship with a man named David. He's cute and funny and is so willing to settle down and start a family. This relationship is equally weighed to Elizabeth's relationship with Josh, despite the genders and circumstances of each relationship, which is very comforting. I heard some people whispering as Lucas kissed David for the first time on stage. I couldn’t help but get a little angry but so many other people were clapping as they kissed and that made me smile.
Prior to her moving to New York, Elizabeth perceived love as an anomaly. Her broken marriage drove her to the edge of her sanity as she had imagined that marriages should be as amazing as everyone says it is. So many of us spend so much time yearning for a life-long partner when we can barely live with ourselves. IF/THEN showed me that nothing is ever exact or perfect, let alone planned or expected.
When Elizabeth finds out she's pregnant with Josh's baby, she panics. Nothing hysterical but more of a self-actualization thing. She realizes that she doesn't know herself. Could she really handle being a mother? She was afraid of herself and that reminds me so much of me. Sometimes I hesitate to do things because I'm never really sure what it is I can handle or what it really means to "handle" anything. But, like Elizabeth I am courageously stupid so I end up doing whatever it is anyway. That's where I see that I'm resilient, because things usually end badly.
I think we all are just eager swimmers scattered in a vast ocean. Some of us value our floatation devices, some of us forget we have one, and some of us don't even know what one looks like. Life might really just be one big ocean we are all just trying to swim across but nonetheless, nothing matters without purpose.