I’m not quite sure why I’m sharing this story but I learned a lot so here goes. At the beginning of the year (mid-January) I got dumped. I’ll have to tell that story one day. After I got dumped I decided that I needed to actually start dating for the first time in my life. A great idea in theory. So I signed up for some online dating sites and the games began. Literally. In my search I met a guy who it appeared I was pretty compatible with. On paper he had a lot of things that I would want in a potential mate. Grew up in a stable two parent home, masters degree, decent job, active in the community, etc. He was also nice-looking and could dress (added bonus). I don’t know why, but I just felt drawn to him. We had similar values and interests and lived within a reasonable distance of each other. We had some conversations and found out that we had a lot in common. Being the communicative person that I am, I made it clear from the beginning what I wanted out of a relationship that was absolutely non-negotiable. Time and attention. We texted every day but whenever the conversation meandered to spending some actual time together (i.e. a date) he would dodge and tell me about how busy he was. It got annoying and then it felt like I was nagging and I didn’t want to be that person. So I stopped and he never initiated anything. I waited a few weeks and then told him that it appeared we both wanted different things and that I was taking a step back. He never bothered to reply. The sad thing was that I think we had great potential. But I can’t make anyone decide to spend time with me and I want it to be entirely their decision. I don’t know what it was but I felt inexplicably drawn to him and wanted to be one of the things in his life that brought him happiness. He was intriguing and complex and was unlike anyone I’d ever known. I would have loved to get to know him better but he never gave me that chance. I had to make the hard decision to cut my losses and walk away because I wasn’t getting what I needed and he flat out refused to even schedule any time with me. Wish there had been a different outcome.
I feel that I’m due for another post and while I have been consistent with writing in the past, sometimes it’s almost impossibly hard to translate my chaotic thoughts into something coherent. But I’m going to try. I’ve come to the realization that most people live with a set of “ifs” or “what ifs.” It’s that feeling where you just KNOW that things would be different IF distance wasn’t a factor, IF money wasn’t an issue, IF you had made a better decision. The list goes on and on. Sometimes that “if” is a person. I’ve seen the look of regret on the faces of many older adults as they’ve lamented on losing their first love or a painful goodbye that they never fully got over. I say all that to say that sometimes you have to know exactly what you want—even if it’s a big thing, and work backwards. You can eliminate a few “ifs” IF you are willing to make huge decisions that are uncomfortable in the present but lay the foundation for a better future.
I don’t remember who initially introduced me to Tori’s music but I’m forever appreciative. There’s something refreshing about her demeanor and her songs actually make sense. About a week ago I decided that I needed to catch up on some of her music and I bought her latest album. It has been the only thing playing on my phone for the past week. This particular song I really like because it’s so honest. While the lyrics speak of regret, there’s still an underlying current of optimism. Tori sings about something that has happened to a lot of people and it’s easy to connect with her words. One of the things that I really appreciate about her style, melodies, and lyrics is that they express true emotion and are reflective of situations that embody the human experience.
I’m not exactly a fan of change. I’m not against it because I know that I don’t have a choice and that it will happen regardless of what I think or feel. However, it’s often not a comfortable or pleasant experience. There’s frequently quoted prayer about changing the things we can’t accept and accepting the things we can’t change. I’ve learned that there are some things that we can definitely change about ourselves. While we can’t always change our environments and move away, sometimes a change in mindset makes all the difference. About a six weeks ago I decided to change course a bit and pursue something that I had never tried before. Despite the fact that I don’t care for change, I usually like having new experiences when the trepidation wears off. Feeling like you don’t have any control is one of the quickest ways to start acting irrationally. I learned this quickly in my work with others. The more options available, the more people feel as if their words are important–even if they aren’t. This new endeavor is by far something that I’m not used to. However, I know without a doubt that I’ll regret it for a significant period time if I don’t push forward and go after it. I’ve never quite agreed with the “one size fits all” mentality and despite the initial discomfort associated with the unfamiliar, I know that it’s the right decision to make. The pros and cons have been weighed and ironically things have started to line up in a way I didn’t expect since deciding on this new course of action. In some circles people would call that confirmation. I have analyzed and overanalyzed and yet the same course of action still presents as the most logical direction to go. I’ve learned that there are some things I can’t change and some things that I can. And now it’s time to make one of those “change-able” changes.
So I saw this picture and it immediately grabbed my attention. I thought about how many times I had gone out of my way for people who may have been “wrong.” I know of many people who have regretted things they did for people who ended up betraying them in the end. While I firmly believe that there are a lot of people out there who should never ever be trusted, walking about super paranoid and guarded may not be the best plan of action either. Many times we are taught from childhood to put others before ourselves and to share and not be selfish. However, we aren’t taught that discernment and caution should sometimes accompany unselfishness and sharing. Doing the right things for the wrong people can make you miss out on all the right people around you. And honestly, you might actually end up regretting it.