I am going to begin by admitting a not-so-secret secret of mine — I am constantly apprehensive about the future and tend to dwell on the past. I am not as much of a “present” person, but I’m trying to be. I also understand that there is safety in the past, and I am not here today to tell you to move on, the past is the past for a reason, and there are far better and brighter things in your future, because you know that already.
By now you have been through hell, heartbreak, death, got fired from a job, failed a class, and the list goes on. You have been through some hard-ass times and look at you now! You are here.
I know that even if I could recreate my past, nothing would be close to the same. People change, people die, places change, and — most mystifying of all, I know that I have changed and become an entirely different person than I was even a year ago. You, like me, are completely different and that is because people change. As we get older, we slowly and unknowingly outgrow people. Sometimes it happens instantly and sometimes it happens blindly. You wake up one day and realize certain people are not in your life, and I can assure you: This is okay. This is normal. We live and we learn, we grow from the people and lessons in our past and they only direct us into the exact life we are meant to be living.
Look at you now. Look around at where you are and all that you have overcome.
I know, I know, things are probably sticky now and your future isn’t going as planned. But does anything ever go as planned? We all know by now that things never stay on track. Us as humans tend to make mistakes or things simply do not go as they are outlined to. We find ourselves unconsciously easing in another direction, and this is exactly where we are supposed to be. You are following a much brighter trail now, whether you see it or not. I pictured life at 21 with my high school sweetheart, someday settling down and having a family, maybe even a couple of children. I imagined life with a job straight out of college, paying me more than I could ever need. But as I know, and I am sure you do — life doesn’t go as planned for anyone.
I have let go of my preconceived expectations and desire for the safety that exists in the past, because I am a different person now. I have been broken, hurt, lied to, and I have grown from experience. I do not want nor need those mediocre expectations. I have lived and learned and have new dreams and goals. I have lost people that I imagined in my life forever and I am okay with that. Some people aren’t meant to stay in your life, but instead lead you in the direction you are headed. You never want to stay back and reserve a spot for those who do not intend on staying around long enough to see you succeed. You do not need or want those people in your future.
Please do not waste your energy regretting things you think you should have done. Everything you do, even the mistakes you make, even the things you’d rather not be doing, even the thousands of pages you spent thousands of hours writing, then put in a drawer, will teach you something you couldn’t possibly have learned otherwise, prepared you in some way for what’s to come, or simply expanded your knowledge of the world around you. And you are going to put all that to use someday in the future because that is just how this world works. As you have heard one thousand times by now — everything happens for a reason. Everything happens exactly as it is supposed to happen.
You can either live life in reverse and focus your time on this planet regretting, never moving forward, and holding onto that safety blanket from years ago. Or you can take all of your past mistakes and lessons and learn from them. Grow, explore, and achieve more than you ever thought possible. Why settle for a mediocre lifestyle, when you can work and achieve more than you ever thought possible?