Sometimes I lie awake at night and cringe at things I’ve done in my past. Be it bad judgment calls, unhealthy friendships, bad habits or even harsh words. I wonder what drew me to certain people, or what kind of mindset I was in to say certain things. I wonder how I could have done things differently. Would things be any different now?
I didn’t plan on travelling as much as I did, or getting a job straight out of school. I didn’t plan on leaving my hometown to study. I didn’t plan on attending my dream university. I didn’t plan on making any new friends. I didn’t plan on losing them either. I had no idea I could fall in love, I didn’t think I was a person who could settle into a relationship. I didn’t plan this year, or last three years at all.
So if I think back to the situations that make me feel any kind of shame, should I pretend they didn’t happen at all? There are some things I wouldn’t mind erasing from my memory, but then, would I be me? I know certain events shaped me, I am aware of the big changes within me. But even the little events affect us a lot more than we realize. These little details, even when we don’t even realize it, become tiny parts of us creating a larger whole.
I try to imagine not making the mistakes I have made, and I see a shell of the person I am now. I might have some jagged pieces, and I may have disappointed people, but I took those experiences to heart. I made sure that any heartbreak meant that I gained a little more knowledge about others and myself. I always felt like closing myself off, but instead it cracked my heart open even more.
Looking around, at this wonderful life, I know now that I wouldn’t be here if I had methodically planned everything and never allowed myself to scrape my knees. I know that grazed elbows and rough hands mean that I worked hard to get here. I know that a fragile heart and sleepless nights filled with memories means that I have lived a little. I might still cringe, but it doesn’t mean I am not thankful. I am so grateful that every wrong turn directed me to the ‘right’ destination in the end.
I am me, and it is because I tripped and fell and bumped my head.