What would you tell your younger self if you could go back in time? What wisdom would you reveal to the younger you that could change everything? And if you could do this, how would your life be different? Would you have never gotten married? Would you not be in debt financially? Would you be healthier? No doubt that if you could go back and change what you knew then, your life would be much different.
I’ve often wondered how my life would be different if I could go back and know then what I know now. So what would I tell my much younger self if I could go back?
Not a damn thing.
That’s right; I wouldn’t give myself any of the wisdom that I have now. I would allow myself to make the same mistakes and stumble my way down all the wrong roads searching for all the right roads that make up the journey that has brought me to the wonderful place I’m at now. Here’s why…
Wisdom without the journey isn’t wisdom at all. Wisdom is developing a self-made insight through life experiences that lead to a discovery. It’s like someone giving you the answer to a math problem. Your knowing of the answer wasn’t given through self-discovery, therefore you don’t know the applications required to achieve the right answer. So although you know the answer for that one problem, you won’t be able to apply that same knowing to every other problem. The most important part of gaining wisdom is the journey to gaining it because it provides clarity. The journey tells you why you need to know.
I wouldn’t know the value of faith. Part of living is having faith that even when we feel we are moving forward in absolute blindness, everything will work out. We put faith in ourselves and trust ourselves to make the right decisions and a lot of times, we do it blindly. But having this kind of faith is a beautiful and indescribable part of life. It’s insight that we transcend our physical being. It’s spiritual. But I wouldn’t know the value and ability of my faith in myself if I had all the answers before the journey. I wouldn’t need the courage it’s taken me to step blindly in my future sometimes. I wouldn’t know the strength that having faith in myself could give me. Life is full of unexpected turns but there’s only one desired result…happiness and there’s only one motivation…faith.
I wouldn’t know ME. The journeys we go through in life are a huge part in developing our character. The bad show us what we don’t want and what we do want. The good give us a reason to smile and motivate us to live every day to its fullest. But without the journeys, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate these journeys in that they teach us about ourselves. Knowing who we are is a very deep connection and requires meaningful journeys to develop our appreciation of who we are. If I went back and told myself that I would come to love writing, I would probably start writing but fumble around not knowing what I like to write about or why. I wouldn’t have developed the appreciation that came from discovering that writing was the perfect outlet for me to inspire others. We come to know who we are by learning about who we are. What we like, what we don’t like, what inspires us and what makes us happy. Words from any mouth can’t tell you who you are. Only your emotions can and without the journey, there are no emotions to feel.
I wouldn’t be able to look back and laugh at myself. I love to think back about all the stupid things I did when I was younger like getting busted smoking in my room by my mom who then made me smoke a whole pack of cigarettes in front of my sisters and brothers and took a picture of me while I did so. I was so angry and felt like the world was crashing down on me then but looking back now, that picture makes me laugh. It’s great to look back at some of my mistakes and be able to laugh about them. It gives me character but if I had never made mistakes, I wouldn’t be able to laugh at myself.
My children. My kids are the best “mistake” I’ve ever made and if I hadn’t married a man that I would come to be miserable with, they wouldn’t be here. Sure I could add on that I would have two wonderful kids if I could go back and tell my younger self that I would marry the wrong man but I can’t guarantee that I would still marry him. Not knowing how wonderful of a life we have now despite the divorce, I would be skeptical to bring two children into a failed marriage. I would be worried about the pain it would cause. But again, the journey that has brought me to having two amazing and happy kids is what has given me all the reassurance and confidence I need to be their mother. Without that journey, I wouldn’t have the reassurance or confidence. Back then I wouldn’t know the joy that these two kids have brought me. No other child could give me the joy they have brought me and I know now that marrying the wrong man and being “miserable” for 5 years was more than worth it.
I hear people saying all the time that in hindsight they wish they would’ve done something different. I used to be one of them. I used to regret a lot of my decisions before I came to realize the importance of the journey that has led up to the wisdom I have now. Life is a journey and your mistakes are an important part of this journey. Don’t regret them, learn from them and appreciate the insight they have given you. No matter what mistakes you have made, give them value because without them you wouldn’t be where you are now. And where you are now is the most perfect place you could be in right now.
That is the wisdom of a single mother.