If you could change one thing, what would it be? What’s one thing you’ve regretted? Everyone’s been asked these questions or pondered them at some point. I’d say you’re crazy if you denied it.
Some people say they would take back an affair, go to college, wait to have sex, not sleep with a particular person. The list goes on and on. But what if you did change that? Would you be where you are now?
I’ll admit there are things I’ve regretted. Believe me… There are times where I wish I could’ve taken it back. Times I wish I could go back and re-do things. Maybe they’d work out better. Maybe I’d be happier. Probably not, but isn’t it worth a shot?
If I could go back and change something I still somewhat regret to this day so many things would change. When you change one thing, you change a multitude of others. Remember the movie about the Butterfly Effect? Yeah, wouldn’t be so good if it happened to you.
But when I think back to the one thing I truly regret, I still wouldn’t change the decision. I still want to at times, but I know I wouldn’t be where I am now.
My last semester of college, I had the most wonderful friends with benefits. We could talk about anything and everything. We constantly laughed, explored new things, encouraged each other, and anything seemed possible. With him, I fell in love with myself. He made me feel beautiful for who I was. There was nothing I couldn’t conquer with him by my side.
We were just friends though…
I graduated and moved out of the small college town to Austin, Texas. I was in the big city; pretty strange for a small country girl. We continued to talk and things seemed good, but I knew I wanted more. We had both agreed to not catch feelings. Typical movie crap, but completely true. He started seeing other girls, and I decided to move on. What else were we going to do? A long distance relationship? I knew about his last one and how that went.
I started talking to a man who seemed decent at first. We had fun, great dates, and explored some of the city. My friend (we’ll call him B- for privacy purposes) knew all about him, and I knew about his other girls. It wasn’t until one day when he said he had to call me to discuss something that things were different.
He cared for me. I can’t tell you how happy, relaxed, and relieved I was upon hearing that. The man I loved was in love with me as well, but it wasn’t in the cards.
The guy I recently started dating, decided to go off the deep end. He decided to go crazy, talk about committing suicide and a multitude of other things. At the time, I was weak. I was scared he was going to do something. I was torn between the two. I knew the possibilities of what could happen with B- during a long distance relationship, but then I had only just met this new guy so what did I really know?
My spine crumbled and swayed. I made the decision to go with the new guy, because I was scared he would actually commit suicide. Stupid right? I know. I shouldn’t have done it. I shouldn’t have made the decision based on that. To this day, I still replay the movie. Everything is crystal clear, and the feelings always rush back twinging my heart. My stomach still turns when I think about it, and I uncontrollably tear up.
Needless to say, the relationship didn’t last long. There were a lot of other complications as well, but it did teach me a few things. I learned what I did and didn’t want in a relationship. I learned that I loved my freedom even more than I thought. I couldn’t be the typical house wife for a man. I wasn’t going to be put down, because I’m not as far down my career path and earnings as him. (He was 27 and I, only 21.)
I lost my will to write. I lost my passion for relationships. I lost who I was. I lost my confidence. I lost any capability of smiling or having fun. I was constantly scared of doing or saying the wrong thing. For the next 2 years, (the relationship only lasted about 5 months) I dealt with recovering from it all. It seemed that everything I did was wrong.
If I had made the decision to go with B- things could’ve been different. I could’ve avoided all of that, missed the turmoil, been happy and carefree, but that’s not what happened.
If I had made the other decision, I wouldn’t have met A- (a good friend of mine), I wouldn’t have stayed as long in Austin, I wouldn’t have gone to Scotland where I met amazing people and fell in love with writing again, I wouldn’t have jumped on a plane to Mexico, I wouldn’t have been laid off from my job, I wouldn’t have decided to teach English abroad, and I wouldn’t have gone to Thailand where I’m now living.
All of those things wouldn’t have happened if I had made a different choice. So while I may sometimes regret it, I honestly don’t regret a single thing, because I wouldn’t be where I am today. Every choice I’ve made has lead me to where I am now. I love who I am and where I am.
So when someone asks me if I could change one thing, I always tell them not a single thing.
Next time you’re feeling down in the dumps about the decision you just made know that it’s another chapter in your book leading you into the next one. Everything always happens for a reason. It seems a frivolous saying, but it’s one of the most truthful things I’ve heard.