I was catching up with a good friend of mine last night and we had an interesting conversation.
He said he hit an epiphany around the middle of last year and he asked me the all too common question, “If you could go back in time now, what changes would you have made?”
And I get it you know. This question is fancy. You get to meddle in your past life and talk about it with both wisdom and hindsight.
Unfortunately, I’ve always felt questions like these don’t apply to me.
Because for me to “go back in time” would mean to go back to a reality where my dad is still around.
My dad has been gone for nearly a decade now. My family and I have already moved on.
To ask me to think about such a time and place is to deny everything I have today as I’ve come to believe everything that happened in my life all serve to make me the man I am today.
That sounds dramatic as hell, but the point is, the unpredictability of life will always take place whether you like it or not. You may have lofty delusions of looking back, thinking you’re wiser (yes, you definitely are) or wanting better things for yourself, but you can’t beat life.
You just have to keep moving forward and deal with it. And you gain a smooth life by making sure you keep learning and growing at the same time. If you don’t, then you’re just a little spoiled brat who’s too scared to deal with life; what’s ahead of you.
So, I cannot and will not be bothered anymore with the past. It’s not to say I am scared to go through with the pain again (I already did it when I was young. I am practically fearless now), it’s just… I know how life works, and the end result is never avoidable.
Secondly, I’ve come to not believe in having regrets.
You need to throw regret out the window for the sole reason you don’t want to end up having to rely on others to make decisions for you. When you do that, you give away power. You constantly instill fear in yourself. You destroy resourcefulness and independence.
Regret nothing. Be grateful for everything. Be thankful for the struggle. That’s how you grow into the best version of yourself.
Yes. Of course it’s going to hurt. Life isn’t easy. Things don’t go as planned. But take solace in the fact that everybody has no fucking clue what they’re doing. We’re all trying our best.
So, when I look back in the past now, I just try to be grateful.
Toxic ex-girlfriends I had to deal with? They made me into the dude who dares to stand up for himself and not give in to the childish whims of an annoying bitch.
That time I did badly in school when I was younger? It made me study harder for more important exams that came later.
That girl I could have and in hindsight should have slept with? My dick makes me feel like it was a bummer, but at least I’m not HIV positive or a father today.
Dad died when I was only 20? I’ve learnt to appreciate the bigger things in life today and not let shit rule me, you know, shit like money, the approval of others and a job.
Hence forth, this is life.
Look forward. Stop fucking dwelling. Be grateful for the lessons. Be thankful for the struggle.
Yet, be present. Be grateful for what you have today. If you are not satisfied with something, just learn and make changes for yourself.
Then you won’t have to grow up and ask questions like that anymore.
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