You’ve heard people say it. Maybe you’ve said it yourself.
I know I have.
If I could relive my life, I would.
But what would you do differently?
Would you have been better at school? Would you have learned an instrument, played a sport, joined the debate team? Would you have exercised more, exercised less, gotten into nutrition? Gone on a diet, gotten healthier, or thrown health to the wind?
Would you have been a bully? Would you have bullied someone who has grown into someone you don’t like?
Would you have the same friends, made more or have less?
Would you have changed your style or your haircut?
Would you cherish the time you had with your parents?
Would you be a troublemaker or a model student?
Would you go to college and make something of your degree or would you waste your four years for a ton of debt?
There are so many ways and so many times we all say “what if”.
What if you could go back?
What if you could have told that person that you loved them at first sight?
What if you moved somewhere you have never been?
What if you took that job?
What if you lived off the grid and off the land?
We all have moments of regret, we all have doubts. We all experience heartbreak and we all fall in love.
It may not be with a person. It could be a car, a house, or a pet.
We all think we can change. If I can change, then that person will love me for who I am, for who I have become. We strive for more and settle for less.
We think we can keep our cool but we lose our temper. We say we are hard workers but really we are perceived as lazy.
No one knows you but you. No one can tell you what you need to do or should do. No one can tell you that you should change something about yourself. No one can set the rules for you.
Truth be told, you can’t change yourself. You can’t change who you are.
You can only modify your personality; you can modify your reactions. You can modify your lifestyle.
But you can never truly change you.
You can’t change how you think, how you act, how you react. You can only modify. You can act accordingly. You can be silent, you can reach out, but you will never change.
Your DNA, your genetic makeup, your chemistry, whatever you want to call it. It is what makes you who you are.
Would you want to change certain aspects of yourself?
No one considers themselves perfect. We are our own worst enemies. Everyone carries guilt and everyone carries a certain amount of pride.
But change? No, you aren’t capable.
What are you capable of?
Understanding, forgiveness, companionship, love, anger, peace, sadness, joy, and sorrow. We are full of emotions. We are complex beings.
But we can’t change the things we say out of anger or hurt. We can’t change when we storm off after an argument. We can’t change how we perceive our mistakes. We can only learn from them.
We can only say, Maybe next time I’ll practice a little more patience.
Maybe next time I’ll be more understanding.
Maybe next time I won’t be so selfish.
Maybe next time…
For some of us, there is no next time. For some of us, we don’t get that second chance. For some of us, we will always wonder where it went wrong or why it went wrong.
For some of us, we will reflect. We will take what we have shown as our mistakes and we will learn from them. Some of us will count our blessings every day. Some of us will not take for granted what we have, no matter how big or how small.
We will appreciate the people that care, the family that supports us, and the friends who offer a shoulder to cry on.
We know we can’t change. We only know how we can deal with our circumstances. We only know how we can react. We only know that we are unique, and we know what we have to offer.
Knowing you who are, would you want to change?