Some days, I wish I could do over the last 25 years. Some days, I wish I would wake up and realise that the last 25 years had been a very bad dream and I was 21 again. Full of hope and dreams.
I wish I could keep all the memories and live my life over knowing everything I know now.
I wish I could keep the confidence and wisdom I have now, to make every decision again, knowing the consequences of particular choices.
What would I do differently?
I wouldn’t pine for my one true love. I would let him walk away and make it clear I would not be waiting.
I would quit all the jobs I hated.
I would stand up for myself to all the management bullies and not be so scared of losing a job.
I would walk away from my ex as soon as our paths crossed. I would never let him into my life.
But, wait a minute, you say – what about your children? Could you give them up?
Theoretically, yes. Because theoretically they would never have been, so there would be nothing to lose.
Could I live with the absence of my children as a payoff for not enduring the pain I have?
Maybe I would have had different children. Maybe I would be living the dream, in a beach house somewhere warm, with a partner who dotes on me and three beautiful children who have everything a child could ever want. Maybe I would be travelling as much as I want to and have a job, or a business that I love.
Maybe life would have turned out exactly the same. The variables might have been different, but the consequences would have remained the same.
Who knows? Speculation like this is mostly useless, but it has shown me today how badly I need to forgive myself for the choices I’ve made.
I didn’t start making good (for me) choices until late in 2009. When I lost everything, all that mattered was feeling better, so I made choices that would lead to that.
Moving away from Melbourne was a good choice. Taking time to recover and recuperate was a good choice. Starting my own business was a good choice.
These days I only make choices that will lead to feeling better.
But I still need to forgive myself.