Me. Uncensored.

Upon Reflection
July 20, 2011, 7:53 am
Filed under: life | Tags: , ,

When I look at my life thus far, I realize that there was so much that I could have done differently on this road to adulthood. Then again, what person hasn’t looked back at their teenage years with the regret that they could have done some things drastically different from what they did.  Anyone who says that they can reflect back on the things who have made them who they are and wouldn’t change one single thing about the path that they’ve taken to get where they are today is most likely lying, consciously or not.

I was 15 and starting my sophomore year of high school. I would have fought tooth and nail with my English teacher to reverse her decision that my paper deserved the grade that I received. The grade that initiated the decline in my grades in that class (as sad as it sounds) and caused me to repeat sophomore English in addition to taking  junior English the next year. I was a sophomore twice, and never classified as a junior. Nevermind just English, but I would have changed the way that I performed in all of my subjects in high school.  My grades weren’t abhorrent, but they definitely left something to be desired to my parents. I can look back now and say to myself in an almost parental tone – ‘I know it’s not the subject matter that you have problems with. You just don’t apply yourself’. It’s completely true. After all, I enjoyed learning the things that I didn’t know, but I was incredibly bored with it all and didn’t feel challenged in the least bit.

I received a scholarship from Mary Baldwin College for 19k a year. I declined after discovering that its an all-girls school. I then had the bright idea that I would go to community college for two years and get my feet wet before going to a university. Big mistake. Again, I wasn’t challenged and it wasn’t completely because of the curriculum – I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. Looking back, I still wouldn’t have taken the scholarship, but I would have actually applied to schools that were local.

I moved out of my parents house and into a house with three friends after I met the greatest man of my life (at the end of 2003). I loved the freedom but I hated the fact that I lost my job. I never really thanked those girls for helping me keep afloat. I regret that. (If any of you three happen to read this – Thank you from the bottom of my heart) I also regret the fact that while I realize that job wouldn’t have really taken me in a professional direction, I would have (again) fought to keep it. The lost job also lead to me dropping out of school. Other than that, I have no other major regrets about that action. My parents and I are now closer that we’ve ever been or could have been had I lived at home and I’ve been married to that great man for almost five years.

Flash-forward to now –
I still haven’t finished school but would love to go back. There’s a part of me that feels that a 28-year-old in a classroom with a bunch of 18 year olds is silly but totally worth it. I realize now that actually finishing school would have made me more successful financially than I am now. However, money definitely doesn’t equal happiness but I help those who can’t help themselves as much as I can and try to be as generous with my time as I am with my willingness to listen to their troubles. Looking at my life as a whole so far, I’m happy. Though I may regret the things that lead to where I am now, I probably wouldn’t be where I am or as happy as I am had I not done them the way that I did them. They helped me understand people, and lead me to being as close to a selfless person as I think I can be at this point.

So, a message to my future self who one day will look back at this entry with some reflection about where I am now –  Be selfless but be strong. Don’t allow people to step all over you but still be generous. Donate more time to those in the community who seriously need the support that they struggle to find. Try to go back to school in some capacity. Develop healthier habits. Continue to be happy with the hand that life and yourself have dealt. Still continue with photography. And remember that life isn’t easy or fair but being happy is all that really matters.