I read most things subjectively. What you get out of a book or a magazine or even a billboard with a quirky catchphrase is really relative to where you are in life; where you are in your own mind when the words are flooding across it. I came across a quote today “You can’t blame someone for walking away if you didn’t do anything to make them stay.” My initial reaction was way to literal- like visions of juggling or hula hooping wearing a rainbow wig and red nose and then I found myself feeling defensive like “make” them stay?!? There are no prisoners here-jump if you’re feeling froggy. But then, it clicked. This quote is the embodiment of how we talk ourselves into guilt and regret. We turn on ourselves and point as many fingers as we can while grasping to make some sort of sense about why we failed someone or something. Fuck that. Not everyone is for us and we’re not for everyone. It’s ok to acknowledge that fact and go on our way in search of those that set our souls on fire instead of putting out our spark. Learn to let shit be without the need for closure or a pat on the back.
That’s just one drop in the bucket of things we do to ourselves while we’re in this giant experiment we call life. I would like to think I don’t have regrets about most things that have come and gone thus far but maybe I do? Perhaps I simply have an aversion to the word regret. Think about it for a minute- we say “scheme” and think of Harry and Marv trying to break into Kevin’s house in Home Alone but, when we say “dream”, we tend to think about characters like Will Smith in the Pursuit of Happyness who is down and out and makes his dreams happen. Scheme…dream….two nouns that can be used synonymously with the word plan. Same with the words “regret” and “wish”. One sounds permanent and negative and the other is lite and hopeful. “I regret not giving a fuck”….”I wish I had given a fuck”…..same same in the semantic game.
So if I use the softer version of regret there are very clear situations that I “wish” I would have been more aware of.
I wish I would have realized just how inspiring people were.
We’ve all met people that grab our attention. Some make us do a double take and sometimes it’s not even in that moment- it’s well after we’ve let their presence and their thoughts sink in deeply on a conscious or unconscious level. We meet people of obvious wisdom, the optimists, the fighters, the wildly curious, the ones with layer after layer of life nearly smothering them, and the people who don’t have a clue how gifted and charming they are but give the best of themselves with little to no effort. So many differences and so many reasons to shy away from things that don’t match our mirror image. But it’s the dance between two mismatched souls that makes life inspiring and magic. The universe gives us gifts in the most peculiar and odd packaging at times. We make a choice to accept what’s handed to us or pass it by with all the unknown treasures to pursue the usual and comfortable. I’m not sure if understanding why people have left me awe struck or how they’ve challenged me to think about life in terms of breathes not minutes would change the affect they’ve had on who I am. Perhaps it’s the human in all of us to revel in the past that keeps the inspiration alive today.
I wish I would handed out eviction notices a lot sooner
Isn’t this one a son of a bitch. I know what I want and I know what’s good for me…..of course I do when I’m not wrapped around the axel of a truck dragging me through my own life. I know I’m not the only one that’s spent a period of time projecting what I wanted to happen and allowing another person, who has a good chance of being oblivious or not interested, to rule my thoughts and decisions. In time they’ll realize how much they “need me” or better yet they’ll “regret losing me”. False. People give attention to what they care about or what interests them-there is no amount of overthinking, talking about, or self-sacrificing that will change that. People are assholes and people make choices that don’t match our hearts desires- you aren’t responsible for either of those things. Learn to like the sound of your footsteps walking away from things not meant for you- even the ones in your own head.
I wish I would have said the word no more
Our most precious resource some would argue are land or water. I disagree- it’s time. We could more feasibly find a way to live on the moon before we find a way to create more time. I have given tiny pieces of myself to people over the course of my life. 85% of those pieces were given freely and from my heart. But that other 15%…no easy task. There are things we “have” to do in life like get our eyes dilated or going to the dentist or throwing our feet in the stirrups for an annual exam. Those things, albeit not our favorite things, are in the 85% because they are part of self-care and self-love. The 15% I’m talking about is the shit that isn’t moving us forward. Example you ask? Worrying about things that haven’t happened yet. Complaining about things I’m not willing to change. Asking opinions on something I’m going to do anyway. Saying yes to weddings, or parties out of guilt and not desire or love. Doing favors or spending time with anyone that doesn’t value or respect me. And my favorite is being selfless and then wondering why I feel so bad for putting myself last. We need to tell ourselves no just as much as we do other people. Keep time for yourself and use that 15% to do things that make you feel alive and bring you joy.
I wish I wouldn’t have been afraid to love
I love a lot of things and a lot of people. Standing here today I’m not afraid to identify with any of the emotions or reasons why I feel a certain way. I haven’t always been able to have those convictions. We’re conditioned that love is tied to romance or exclusive to a certain group of people like family. I have mistaken lust for love and I’ve been heart broken by my family. We treat love like it’s the root of something, but I think it’s more a culmination of different reasons and a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. I love someone because they make me laugh like no one else can and because they look deeper than a great rack and smile to see what isn’t obvious or available to everyone else. I love going through the drive thru when Eric is working because he takes an extra minute to say good morning in the most genuine of ways before he hands me my coffee. I appreciate; I love those things because they reflect what I know I deserve. People can only meet you as deeply as they’ve met themselves and you can tell who is still in the shallow end of the pool by their ability or lack there of to love. If you are afraid to fly your love flag freely out of fear of judgment or misunderstanding I’m sorry- sorry you can’t feel how weightless being genuine and authentic can be. Shame on anyone that tells you what you love needs to come from a certain type of mold to be acceptable. We’re all just trying to make it to the next day and some of us to our next breath. If someone feels like home, go there. If it makes you want to be a better person, do it. If it interests you, find a way. Don’t be afraid to love yourself so much your heart is overflowing….you’ll have so much to give away.
At the end of the day life doesn’t have autocorrect for our choices so whether you see a wish or regret when you look back is up to you. I’m wise enough to know that every decision I’ve made has lead me to this point in my life and I’m at peace with that. But, I’m also curious enough to wish I could fast forward time just to see if in the end it’s all worth it.
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