We see quotes and articles claiming that we should never regret the choices we made; simply learn from them and do something differently. We are told that everything happens for a reason and there’s a reason, albeit sometimes a very weak one, for why everything happens. Although I agree in some respects, and I don’t make it a habit to regret the choices I have made, there are a few things I would change in my past to make ‘today’ me a little happier and healthier:
1. I would show myself more respect: I wish I had shown my body, my mind and my spirit more respect. I wish I had demanded respect from those around me and stood up for myself. Coming from an abusive home where we moved a lot, I never had the opportunity to make long term friendships or create the network of support to help me stand up for myself. Looking back, I should have said ‘no’ more often and not sat back while others put me down. I would have taken more time to get to know my own body before allowing others to have it as well. I would have allowed myself to discover my spirituality and embraced the questions, doubts and beauty that goes comes with that discovery.
2. I would be more confident: Looking back even as recently has five years ago, I wish I had just forgotten and ignored what those few people, who needed knock me down to raise themselves up, said to me. I should have worn what I wanted, applied for the jobs I desired and went where my heart was leading me.
3. I would have traveled: I had the opportunity to travel to Eastern Canada and I chose not to because I just didn’t think I would be able to do it over there by myself. This one ties into the two previous changes I would have made, but I still would change it. I would take that trip, if I could go back and change it, even knowing that it may change what my future was going to be. Traveling brings new opportunities to grow and build confidence as well as perspective.
4. I would have been by myself more: I would change the fact that I always tried to have people around me. I never wanted to be alone and I spent a lot of time trying to make other people happy and sacrificing my happiness, patience, time and energy on those who didn’t deserve it. I was
5. I would have asked for financial advice: I would go back in time, make an appointment with my bank or a financial planner and figure things out. Having a proper mindset about money and a plan for whether I wanted to go to school, buy a house or even just how to budget would have been not just beneficial, but created a security around my life that I never had.
I’m not one to live with regret and, although, I know I can’t go back and change these things, I can make active choices to live my life in a different way than I have in the past and in a more fulfilling sense. I will ignore those who try to put me down and tell me my dreams are foolish. I will set goals AND obtain them. I will travel and see the world, one trip at a time. I will take solace and look forward to time alone. In fact, I now take the time to schedule time to be alone. I am trying to be a healthier, happier version of me. I hope you can to!