Always such an inconclusive question, we all have thought it, said it, wondered at some point or another; what if?
What if I had picked the right lottery numbers? What if I hadn’t jumped from the roof? What if I wouldn’t have broken my leg? What if I had waited to kiss him until the third date? What if I had taken that other job?
Life is made up by a million little decisions that we all take every day, sometimes without even realizing that as small as they are, they are shaping our lives. What if you had turned left instead of right when you walked out of your house? Maybe you wouldn’t have tripped over that rock and spilled hot coffee all over yourself –I’ll admit it’s happened to me once or twice maybe then you wouldn’t have had to change and been late to work and are now getting yelled at by your boss. It all seems like a cosmic joke on you, right?
I am definitely not one of those girls who believes in destiny or fate, I don’t. I do, however, believe that everything you experience has an effect on your life. I believe we make our own choices and it is because of those choices that we go through what we go through. Everything we experience, good or bad, has a consequence in our lives; you smoke cigarettes? Well, you can deduct 30 minutes of your life for each one you smoke. You went out and drank your weight in whiskey last night? Yeah, you will have a killer hangover tomorrow. Just like those very obvious outcomes are facts, so are the effects of your choices.
The positive side of things, at least for me, is that I consider negative effects or outcomes as a lesson. There are no mistakes if you look hard enough and sometimes it takes some soul-searching you can find something you’ve learned, a way you’ve grown with every experience. Even if it is just realizing that whatever you did, you shouldn’t do ever again.
I am who I am today because of everything I have been through and all that I have experienced. In a way, this makes me special, just like your experiences make you special. Because no person has lived through the exact same things and chosen the same path for themselves.
The what if’s in life are useless. You can never change what has passed and wonder what if never helped anyone move on from a wrong choice. The problem is, people think of what if’s in a past tense trying to rectify some error in judgment or take back something they shouldn’t have said. And trust me, I’ve said some horrible things to people who did not deserve it, but in the end, I don’t regret the worst thing I have ever said. Because because of what it lead me through and the final outcome it had.
I said something incredibly thoughtless and cruel to one of my best friends at a time when all she needed was support. I regretted it instantly (I know I’m contradicting myself, but wait for it), I knew that was the worst thing I had ever said and would ever say in my life. I apologized and apologized for months. Sadly, she couldn’t forgive me (I don’t blame her) she tried, and we would pretend to be friends and she would stab me in the back -I deserved each and every one of those stabs, then I got tired of trying to be her friend so I cut her out, and she cut me out. We hung out with the same people, saw each other every day but we pretended the other didn’t exist. Until one day we talked, she finally was able to forgive me and I was willing to forgive her for treating me the way she had (even though I deserved all of it I’m not going to pretend I liked it). After this, we became closer than we ever were, and I can honestly say she is one of my rocks. This girl is so special to me, not only because she’s a great friend but because she is an inspiration. I’ve learned so much from her. On days when I feel like crap and can’t find the energy to go through my day, thinking of all she’s gone through and how she’s handled everything and came out on top with her head held high and more importantly happy, she inspires me to get up. In the end, I don’t regret having said that because it gave me this. Do I wish there could’ve been an easier, less hurtful way to get here? HECK YES! But I learned never to say stuff like that again that day, and thankfully she is that great of a person that she was able to forgive me.
Wondering what if you could change the past will only make you wallow in whatever it is you think you did wrong. The way I see it, instead of thinking what if would’ve, could’ve, should’ve, I try to make it an opportunistic what if, a way to let inspiration in; what if I make a painting a sell it? What if I tell that girl walking by me that looks like she’s been crying that I love her outfit? What if I sit down and brainstorm writing ideas?
All these what if’s focus on something else entirely, instead of being a negative thing, they become positive. Out of all the ones I listed I can’t see any way either of them would produce negative outcome, instead, think of the possibilities!! Maybe I’ll make some extra cash selling the painting and will be able to go on a trip, maybe that girl will feel good about herself and be more confident to face whatever made her cry, what if I brainstorm and one of my ideas turned into my second novel?
It’s not wrong to wonder “what if” but for me, thinking about it in past tense has had negative and let’s face it depressing thoughts. Seeing it as a positive makes me see that there are all these opportunities out there, brightens up my day by daydreaming about one of them coming true and once I see it in my head, I will fight like hell to achieve it, it gives me the courage to imagine all I could be, all I could accomplish instead of wallowing on what I wish I could change about my past.
I encourage you to think of three positive what if’s every morning before getting out of bed, maybe it will help you like it has me. Let me know what you came up with in the comments!
On a side note, I know the girl I was talking about is going to read this, you know who you are. I wanted to add something.. , I LOVE YOU! I hope you enjoy the post, and I hope you can understand where I am coming from and hope you don’t mind I spilled my guts. I am so glad you’re my best friend and I am so proud of you. I know I’ve said this before, but you are the strongest person I know and I meant everything I said about how much you inspire me. Thank you.