This blog post speaks to the regret in our lives and how in order to keep it moving we have to forgive ourselves and have hope.
For a long time I thought I had everything or at least most of my life already figured out. I knew how my life was supposed to end up, and how things were supposed to be. I was supposed to be a successful writer, who would eventually way down the road have a successful marriage with someone who loved me, and then eventually have three beautiful children. When my life didn't end up the way that I thought it would, it was a huge disappointment for me. It was actually devastating; so much so that I lived in denial for much of it. I couldn't face that my life had turned out exactly the way I didn't want it to. I was in a loveless marriage, with a career, a teacher, that I fought against most of my life with one beautiful child, but on the way to getting a divorce just like my parents...
But with the wisdom that comes from living a while, I realize not many people's lives actually turn out like they had planned. Shoot, who would have been happy with what you thought you wanted out of life as a child, anyway? Do we really think that as adults we really believe the musings of a child who can decidedly answer that commonly asked question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" It conveys some sort of control or maturity, to have goals as a young person. I have done a lot of things and had a lot of jobs in my life: a real estate agent, a high school English teacher, a loan processor, a print shop manager, a secretary, an elementary school teacher, a tutor, and now a business owner. Not one of these things did I mention in my responses to that age old question.
The funny thing was I wanted to be a writer, after I was told there was no money in interior decorating, and I needed to pick something else. I guess now I realize that I didn't really know how my life was supposed to end up. At certain points I really kind of felt like most of my life was someone else's plan with me stuffed in there from time to time. As I sit here watching corny Hallmark movies, I wonder whose life turned out exactly the way they thought it would and was actually happy with how things worked out. I figure there are probably more people who live with the life they didn't plan out for themselves.
I was always one that valued others' experiences. I was a person who didn't need to find out everything on her own or go through every experience for myself, but was eager to hear what other's have gone through and thought I could learn from others so as to not be a glutton for punishment. I didn't want to go through pain, suffering, and disappointment needlessly. I think, though, what I thought was prudence was just an old fashioned case of fear.
I am still struggling a bit with regret for time lost, for opportunities missed because I was in denial. What I've learned is that when disappointments happen, it's a part of life, and it does in the long run make you stronger. It has taught me to listen to myself and trust myself more, to exercise my voice, and set appropriate boundaries in my life. I am learning to forgive myself for not getting it "right" (whatever that is), and the one thing that keeps me holding my head high, and putting one foot in front of the other to keep it moving, is to believe that though it might not have been my choice for a journey, it was God's plan, and that means that I did get it "right."