It could be a dream. A spark from the past instantly ignites something inside that may have lay dormant for years. Perhaps it was a song. Driving to work, and all of a sudden this melody puts you back in a place years from where you are now.
I am the queen of self sabotage.
When I was a senior in high school, I gave a speech about living life to it’s fullest and how the best years of life were still ahead of my fellow classmates … blah, blah, blah. Oh, I can dish it as good as anyone, but can I take my advice? Hell, no. I had a weekly column, where I sometimes felt like getting on a soapbox and preaching the almighty sermon of being a better person. Pretty laughable.
It seems that when things go right for me, that is when I crumble. That is when I take a look around and go, “Huh. Things are too good. Something must not be right.” It could be a relationship. For example, I could look at my current partnership and then look at all my past relationships gone wrong. And in each (or quite a few) of those case scenarios, I will wonder, “What could have happened if I was still dating them, would I be happier?”
In the same vein, I put myself back at the registrar’s office in college and go, “If I would have stuck with pre-law, would I be more fulfilled? Or if I would have gone into pre-medicine or teaching … where would I be?”
The list goes on and on. And with this “helpful” wondering, I get down. Really down. Into a rut that doesn’t seem to have a way out, and all I can do is wallow in the “what might have been’s.” I’m going to assume that I am not alone in this kernel of truth.
I have screwed up royally in the relationship department, in the work department, hell, in the living the good life department. And much of it is due to this form of self sabotage. I can go on blaming other people for my problems, for not being more successful, or for delaying my life – but I really only have myself to thank.
I had one of those dreams last night. One of those that you wake up from and get sucked into questioning where your life is really going. I chose one path, when I could have chose another.
And in this instance, while taking my morning shower, I really thought about it. Not the whiny “I should have done this instead of that … I screwed up and I should go back and fix it … What is wrong with me?” No, I actually thought about it this time. This dream was about a person from my past who is no longer in my life, or at least not in the way they used to be. Sure there are regrets, as there usually are. But there were reasons I chose not to go on that certain path. Definite reasons. And I could have chose to go down it, and perhaps I wouldn’t be that happy. Perhaps I would have had trust issues or worse. Perhaps I actually have made a really good choice for once.
And realized that I’m in a really good place in my life for once, and I really don’t want to sabotage myself.
If there is one thing now that I could preach on my soapbox, it’s this: Life is not black and white. I don’t believe that, anyway. In most things, there are loads of grey area. Sometimes you have to embrace that “greyness” and realize that it’s okay. If I could, I might’ve done a few things differently back in the day. But I can’t. And honestly, when people say that those instances made you who they are today, it’s true.
So today when I had that transportive dream back into my past, I could have easily headed down my usual destructive road to self sabotage. It still gave me tinglings of “what might have been.” Yet instead, I realized that I like my life. I am okay with the choices I am making in the present. And while those memories won’t ever disappear, I will put them to good use: My writing.