Bad things happen when I stay at home alone all day, and they all involve the adverb ‘too’; I eat too much, I watch too much trashy tv, I call my husband too many times, and I think too much. (Not in the anti-feminist way, in the I-really-don’t-need-to-be-worrying-about-what-would-happen-if-Kyle-was-hit-by-a-truck-and-survived-as-a-living-vegetable-and-would-I-be-able-to-stay-with-him way.) Today I binged on the latter of those, and this post is the resulting purge.
Let me start by saying that I’m really happy with who I’ve become. Regardless of my situation in life, (ie, lack of job, stuck in apartment, frustrated by sucky retail job,) I’m proud of who I am as a person. I feel as if I see myself and the world more clearly than I ever have before. I don’t let people push me around the way I used to, I can articulate myself in ways that I never could, and I see the world more fairly than I ever have before. When I look back on all the me’s that have existed in the world, I like this one the best. I’ve made a lot of choices in my life, and though some of them may not have been the smartest in the world, I don’t regret any of them. I don’t believe in regret, because here’s the thing: I am a culmination of my experiences. Sure, attempting to date a serious player and having my heart broken may not have been one of the more enjoyable experiences in my life, but if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been bitter and careless enough to recklessly started dating a guy that I hardly knew and had nothing in common with. And, you know, marrying him 2 years later. So I can’t regret that train wreck of a “relationship” because despite how painful and unhealthy it was, it was also responsible for a large chunk of my present happiness. So I can confidently say that I have no regrets.
Except that I do…kind-of.
I don’t regret the decisions that I made in my past, being the person that I was then and knowing what I did at the time. But I wish I could make those decisions over again, being the person I am and knowing what I do now. The me in high school was too worried about the opinions of others to stand up for herself, but the me today actually has the balls to call people out. The me entering college was too insecure to let go of her identity as a dancer, but the me today knows that there’s more to me than that. I can’t regret the way I handled those situations then, but I wish that I had possessed the courage and self-awareness that I do today, then.
But what’s worse, is that this is a conversation that I will have with myself until the day I die. You know when you’re at the optometrist’s with the lens thingy in front of your face and the doctor’s flipping through lenses and things start out really blurry but then they get clearer and clearer until *click* everything is sharp and perfectly clear? That’s what I feel like my life is going to be like. Every year I’ll see the world with a little more clarity, but always too late to make the best choices in my life. At 25, at 30, at 50…I’ll love the person that I am, but wish that I’d had that much clarity and wisdom when I was making whatever the last big decision in my life was. Only when I’m 92 and on my deathbed will I truly understand the world and my place in it, and by then all my decisions will be made.
But I suppose this is part of growing up and living life. Being able to tell stories about how we were “young and stupid.” I guess all I can do is be happy with who I am now and hope that I’m making decisions today that will make my 50 year old self proud.
And PS-If they’ve invented time travel and my high school self is reading this, just tell everyone to fuck off. It works in the future, I promise.