Some people get it a lot. Some people have never had the feeling, not once in their life. For me, it's almost every day, perhaps because I think too much and perhaps because I'm a dreamer, a dreamer who will want to pursue all paths and has never given up if it was not absolutely necessary.
It's the feeling of knowing there's a life you could live, a decision you could make, and not being able to take that path. Maybe you couldn't do it because it was too expensive. Maybe your time was too full; maybe your parents were to blame, or maybe your children.
I wish I could live all those lives, but I can't.
Every now and again, I have a day when nothing will make that disappointment lighter. Usually, I can write it away. I can give that chance to my characters and let them live through it for me, so that I can have the feelings and the pains and the joys that they have, as though it was myself. Sometimes that's not enough.
It's how I've been feeling recently, actually, and so I was determined to try, until I met somebody who really did live that life. Normally, I'd hate someone for that, but Charlie was different. She was just so nice and quiet and good and intelligent, and I loved her for it.
I decided that, this time, I would write her story, and I would live her life.