Thanks to The Daily Post and their Daily Prompt for inspiring topics to write and giving me something to reflect on today.
Self-discovery is a lifelong pursuit with periods of growing pains and indecision. The person we should know the best, our self, often is the one we understand and accept the least. At times, we hide from things we dislike and justify destructive behaviors.
There is not one particular thing that I regret in my life, not one defining moment that had it not happened, things would be better or significantly different. I have made many mistakes in my life, of course. I have said hurtful words, I have not challenged myself enough, I have been too hard on myself, and I have had times of little understanding of who I am. Rather than regret one particular moment or choice, I, at times, regret a general frame of mind I have had at various points in time. I know that these times have brought me to where I am today, so in some ways I am thankful. But, my regrets are translated best by the phrase, “I wish I knew then what I know now.”
In college, I was strict on myself. I listened to my head more than my heart and stayed in a relationship out of comfort and convenience. I pursed a field of study with vague goals in mind and unrealistic ones at that. If I had followed what I truly love, I would have gone in an entirely different direction and would likely be more successful and fulfilled today. I had many fun nights in college but overall, I put pressure where there need not be and missed out on some experiences that can only be had at that time in life. I did this into adulthood with my first child as well. I held strict standards keeping myself in a line that has not always brought happiness or peace.
In my life, it has taken me years of growing wisdom, therapy, and introspection to learn how to “let go” and it is a daily challenge. Recently, I have found passions that have been lying deep within that I regret not finding earlier as I think that the course of my life might have been easier and more enjoyable. Expressing myself through writing has always been a part of my life but not to the extent it has become recently. If I stayed true to that passion early in life and followed it into study, I may have a better direction now for which to take it.
Exercise and yoga have been a part of my life intermittently but again, not at the level it has become until the last couple of years. I have always loved exercise through running or general gym workouts and did it because I enjoy it (sometimes) but mainly because I enjoyed how I felt when it was finished. Sometimes it was a chore that just needed to be done. For many, myself included, yoga is a mind, body and soul exercise. It feels good and it always ends too soon. It is nothing like the way running feels to me; that it is a struggle to get the endorphin rush and then I’d watch the clock until I could be finished. I never found the addiction that so many others have with it though I have had some good runs. Swimming laps gives me the same feelings as yoga but is hard to incorporate on a routine basis. Yoga has recently given me everything I need to feel healthy and fulfilled and I wish I had done it, routinely, much sooner.
I wish I had been open to the space that has always been available to me, years ago. It would have changed my life in that I might have taken more risks. I may have traveled more. I might not have said so many hurtful words; I might have had a better understanding. I might not have justified myself so much.
However, in the midst of these regrets and things I wish I had done or not done, there comes a sense of pride that I have come so far; that I have dug deep and examined who I am. The learning process will go on indefinitely and I am trying to enjoy the process while continually reminding myself to be true and honest. I will continue to make mistakes but looking at the road ahead, I believe that I know where I am going. As every winding road, there will be the twists, turns and forks but the horizon is no longer hazy. And my regrets have brought me here.