Sunday, April 3, 2011

No Regrets

Once a month I try to get home to see my family and friends, which allows me a solid 4 hours of thinking-while-driving time. This is usually a good thing, even though sometimes I out-think myself. That being said, up until two days ago I would have called myself someone who would change the past if I could. If I had the chance to go back in time I would always, always, always take it. Until this weekend when I decided to contemplate that very idea and ended up completely changing my own mind about it.

Most people would say they'd change something. In fact, I've always doubted when someone would say they wouldn't change anything, if given the chance. Nothing? That never made sense to me. I could always find something to change, no matter how small or large. I had plenty of reasons I would accept that offer, if ever it was a possibility. That fender bender a few years back, the many times I've put my foot in my mouth, and of course the recent ridiculous falling down the stairs. Heck yes I would change parts of my past...or so I thought.

As I was driving and re-thinking this, I realized that possibly having some genie-in-a-bottle chance to go back in time and change everything was a bad idea. What if changing one tiny, little thing would make my whole life different? What if I wouldn't have the friends I have now, the experiences I have now, the wisdom (albeit small) that I have now? Those weren't the what-ifs that really got me, although those are very important. Those I've milled over before and somehow always foolishly convince myself I'd still have basically the same life. The big one, the one that made me change my mind, was the a new thought that came to me: What if I'm on my way to having an amazing and wonderful life, filled with unimaginable adventures, chances to meet new people and make new friends all over the world, and have experiences that were only things of my dreams? And what if, by undoing anything I regretted, everything I know and love now and everything to come would be completely undone by my own wishes?

That very idea left my heart and mind reeling a bit. I can only imagine what lies before me, but whatever it is, I want it. I want to see it, feel it, live it, and experience every single moment of it. There is nothing I want removed from my future because my future holds endless possibilities, which means my past is exactly as is should be. Every lesson learned was one I needed. Every mistake was a chance to improve. Everything I did wrong was a chance for me to do right the next time it presented itself. My life really has been as it should be, even when I don't understand it.

To me that means everyone has lived their lives exactly as they should have. Every action from your past has brought you to where you are right now. No matter what or how, here we are and nothing from the past can be changed. The future, however, is completely up to us. If there's something to be changed, change it. If there's something to be done to right a wrong, to fix a mistake, to mend a broken bond, do it. If there's something you've put off for years for fear that you weren't good at it (like me and my writing) do it anyway. Just as there are countless grains of sand, there are endless possibilities to the life that lies before each of us. We need to remember that, at least I do.

Your life is limitless. It's time to live it like that.

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