Thursday, January 6, 2011

If I only knew then...

Photo by
I’m having a little trouble with this entry. I was thinking the other day about how there are some things that I’m just learning at 35, and was thinking of the trending Tweet a few months ago about what we would tell our 16-year-old selves. I think that one of my biggest regrets is that I refused (not consciously) to focus and achieve some of my goals early on. However, I feel bad for people that say “If only I could go back to 21…and take my 35-year-old brain with me.”

I was pondering this the other day, thinking that if only I had known then, blah, blah, blah. But really, it would most likely be the same thing…much like The Time Machine, we might still have the same outcomes, because although we would be different, the situation would be no different. My family would still be poor. I might have reacted differently to the bullies at my school, but I’m not certain that it would have affected the outcome differently (ie, they stay put and continue their miserable lives, whilst I moved away and saw the world – ha! Take that!) And I mostly think that I did the best with what I had to work with. Even with my knowledge of the now, what could I have done with a lot of situations in my past? No, I needed the space and freedom of adulthood to grow into my skin and my mind.

I guess I did better things, in a way. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, and the first to receive my master’s degree a few years later. I worked full-time for over half of the time that I was in college. During most of my 20s, I was in school and working, eyes fixed on gaining the almighty education that would surely reward me with my dreams.

And it did. I’ve a nice home. I live in one of the most enviable places in the US. I’ve a nice wardrobe of clothes (nothing extravagant, but respectable). I have the total Fight Club dream. :)

But in my thirties, I really began to start doing. I made time for things. I stopped worrying about a lot of things (although as you can see from my posts, I’m still pretty neurotic), and focus became much easier. It’s as though my mind calmed a lot. I think about things differently now, and feel that I have many more skills than I once thought (although I am still terrible at math).

Of all of the woulda, coulda, shoulda things on my list of things that I wish that I had done, I really wish that I had embraced healthy eating and exercise a little earlier in life. Like say, 20 years ago. But it’s better that I did it now (the last couple of years) than never.

1 comment:

Cate said...

Seems to be inherent in human nature to want to go back and do over and somehow make things perfect, or at least better. It's probably a universal law of physics that there are many ways to get to the same place you are at now. You just happened to pick a particular one. Maybe it was messy and bumpy, but it got you there.