If I Could Live My Life Over

This topic isn't always comfortable to think about for most people. I think it is a very honest and raw thing to publicly state that you have made mistakes, and you have regrets - because that is human, and that is normal. It is normal to acknowledge that hindsight is 20/20, and that if you could go back and rewrite specific chapters of your life, you would. I know I would.

I have not done everything as well as I would have liked. I got awesome grades in high school (top 4% of my class, 22 out of 333 graduates, 3.999 GPA [yes seriously, they wouldn't round me up]), then I  dropped the ball in college. For those of you that know me the best, you know that college was very, very difficult for me due to extenuating family circumstances - not something I am willing to get into here. If I could go back and redo college, if I did not know what I know now about my passions and aptitudes, I would have at least worked harder in the classes I dropped the ball in. It was simply easier for me, given the distractions I was experiencing, to coast through those classes. I wish I hadn't - I wish I had pushed through and demanded A's and turned in quality work, but I didn't (and that's okay). If I could redo college, knowing what I  know now, I would have gone in as a kinesiology major and majored in kinesiology and/or sports therapy. I wouldn't have screwed around with languages, and journalism, and music, and political science. It is difficult, if not impossible, at 19 to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life - especially when your life is as fairly topsy-turvy as mine was.

I would have done drum corps and WGI.

I would have studied abroad for longer. I did a summer. It was half-assed. I wish I had been braver, and more independent, and had gone for at least a semester, if not a year.

I never would have gone to graduate school. Yes, I know, education has value in itself, even if you don't use the degree - trust me, I tell myself that every time I make a student loan payment on this debt I will literally never pay off. The debt is fine, people. And yes, I do believe that education in itself has value. If I could go back to my senior year of college, though, I never would have applied for a 2-year, traditional Master's program at a private school. I also wouldn't have applied to all the PhD programs I got into (or, if I did apply to them, I would have gone to one of those PhD programs in place of the Master's). I probably would have still done continuing education after I graduated, (knowing what I know now), but it would have looked very different. I would have gone to yoga teacher training and gotten my personal training certification. Not a Master's in IR. Nope, nope and more nope.

I hope that young people, especially young women, hear this: I would not have tied so much of my self-worth to my relationships with Boys. Boys, with a capital B. I would not have allowed Boys to be able to determine whether or not I was valuable and worthy of attention, praise, worship, affection or love, and I would not have stuck around when Boys treated me as anything less than an absolute queen. There. I said it.

I would have been braver and bolder with my words. As an adult, I feel comfortable when someone is pouring their heart out to me poking them in the chest and saying, "NO. You have value. You are perfect in every way, you are smart and kind and supportive, and I wish everyone I ever met in my life is just like you." I feel comfortable, now, when someone treats me poorly, with telling them, "You know what? You're being a terrible friend right now. I don't have time for your or your negative words, right now or ever. Bye." I was not brave with my words when I was young. I thought a lot of things that I never said out loud, and I am sorry for those missed opportunities I had to help someone else or to stand my ground and demand the treatment from others that I deserved.

It is healthy to acknowledge that you've made mistakes and have regrets. You learn from your mistakes, they inform how you live your life in the future. It's okay, and it's real!

8 comments:

  1. Jessi, Thank you for your story. It often feels like life is just pushing us toward more, bigger, and better . . . when the truth is what we need is best. And best often comes is simple quiet contentment. Working right where we are and loving the people God has placed around us. I will say, you've gained a lot of wisdom through your experience. I'm sure your words will bless and inspire others. Blessings!

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  2. Jessi, we all have regrets as we become older. Our past is too shape our future. Some delightful others not so much! It's good that you can be honest with yourself and publicly speak about it to help others. I'm sure your honesty will help others to look within and make changes. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for visiting! I hope by being open I can help others be comfortable reflecting on these types of lessons, as well. :)

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  3. Thank you for sharing your story! I think it'll help inspire others to make changes in their lives. <3 I do have some instances in my life where I wish I'd been braver and bolder as well, but I guess they do help to serve as learning experiences, so if I'm stuck in a similar situation, I hope I will be next time!

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    1. Yes very true! I hope I can avoid these same types of pitfalls as I get older.

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  4. Great posts. I hate when people say they have no regrets because we all do. Thank you for sharing yours.

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    1. If people don't have regrets, they aren't learning from their past. They're full of it!

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