It’s funny how things change. Just a few short years ago I had no idea what I would do with my life. I mean, I told people I did, but I didn’t. I was starting college. I left my whole world behind hoping to start something completely new. And just a couple years before that, I was coming home crying because I hated where I was. I hated school, the way everyone around me acted, I hated all of it. Looking back I think I hated myself most of all. I was just lost, and struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Struggling may be generous, it implies that I did see it, but only sometimes. I was searching for the light at the end of the tunnel. I didn’t see it at the time. Again, looking back I know it was there, just waiting for me to find it, but I was blinded by my own misery.
If only I knew then what I know now.
I guess that’s the thing though. We all wish that our younger selves could have known what we grow up to find. We wish we could save ourselves, and others, from the breaking point and the pain that we experience. But we can’t. It’s in the past. And that kid you once were grew up. Maybe still a little bitter about what happened, about the people who walked out of their lives, or those moments where nothing seemed like it would get better. Maybe you’re still trying to forgive yourself. Maybe.
I’ve come to realize something. We can either accept it, or we can dwell on it. As much as I hated it all. As much as I wish I could tell myself it gets better. As much as I wish certain things had never happened… those things I wish I could change or forget… All of those things that have happened to me and that I have been through created the person I am today.
And part of me is thankful for it. I am strong, even if I feel like I’m breaking. I am kind, I care about people. I’m wiser, I’ve lived a lot of life in my twenty-two years, and I know I have much more to live. I’ve grown up, and that would never have happened without those things that broke me, that hurt me, that forced me to make the decisions I made.
I guess my point in all of this is… maybe we shouldn’t wish to go back. To right the wrongs. Or to tell our younger selves what we know now. Without them, who knows where we would be? I for one don’t think I would be where I am today. And for that reason alone, I am beyond thankful.