If I had only…how many times have we started a sentence that way? If I had only done it this way things would have been different. Yes, they could have been. It is hard as a human being to only think forward and not live in the past. Sometimes we wonder how things would have turned out if we had done just that one thing differently.
For me that “if only” started years after college, having a house, dogs and all the things that somehow end up in your life as an adult. I graduated college, got a good job, was promoted twice within a year and suddenly made more money than I had ever made. Yet, I was somehow broke all the time. If I only made more money I thought to myself. But hey, I am making more now than I did in college (thank goodness!) and I had more cash flow then. Well, the things we do that start seeping money away. Higher rent or mortgage, that nicer car that actually starts in the morning or just a car period, of course we need some furniture, eating out now actually involves being served by a waitress or waiter, and then those other bills like internet and power that no room mates are helping to pay anymore.
Instead of realizing that all the bills were seeping away my money I just kept thinking I needed to make more money like so many of us keep thinking. So I did. And I was still broke. Not broke like in college broke but that savings account never seemed to stay in green very long. Years later I realized that I should have kept living by the college budget lifestyle and seeped my money into a savings account instead but excuses of “I should be able to afford all this” was blocking me from seeing the forest through the trees for too long.
Along my journey in life I have come to realize that all of those mistakes were needed in order for me to be where I am today. I have learned from them. And today I am so much better off because of the various steps and stumbles I have come upon. Sure, it would have been nice if all those years of trial and error could be recovered with the wisdom I have today, but then isn’t that how life goes huh?
So when you start saying “if I had only” or you are looking at something as a mistake or waste of your time tell yourself that you are where you are because you’ve been where you’ve been and look at those moments or mistakes as needed for you to be where you are today. Learn from them, leave them behind and move forward. If you are not where you want to be recognizing that is the first step to change. It’s not always easy and it’s always a process to move forward, but as long as you do and you work towards that change that you want, then that’s all that matters.
[This post was originally posted on Nov 28, 2012 as “You are where you are, because you’ve been where you’ve been”. It was my first post (after the initial hello post). I felt it was time to re-post it as it relates to the last few posts I have written.] https://www.nomorehamsterwheel.com/?p=59