Hindsight, it’s more than 20/20, don’t you think? It’s like an eagle had Lasik surgery. I look back on some things I believed when I was younger and just shake my head. Sometimes, what you think you believed in your head is clearly not what you believed in your heart based upon your actions.
I will never forget after an especially tough break-up, hearing from my mom that one of my brother’s had said to her, “It’s about time she ditches that zero and finds a hero.” At the time, boy did I feel like I was the one being ditched. It hurt and being single at 30 made me feel like a zero (which I now laugh at the ridiculous notion of that). I had invested time and energy believing that relationships took that much work and would be that hard. Eventually, it was me that ditched that zero in my head and heart. I don’t mean to sound so repugnant. I’m sure he’s grown and changed, and hopefully, that’s for the better. Ultimately, he wasn’t meant for me nor me for him, but I sure did learn a lot about myself and relationships through the experience.
Dear Younger Self,
I think it’s very normal to look back and wish in a way that you could tell your younger self things you’ve learned. Wouldn’t that save us all some time? However, in my view, the taking of the time and the going through it is all a part of the process. If I could though, here are a few things I would remind my younger self.
Relish this time of life.
It’s true, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. If we could go back and spend less time upset over silly things like boys, imagine what we could have accomplished. Let it go. Guess what, if that boy really digs you, he’ll pursue you like crazy… even at the risk of looking uncool. Spend more time with your friends exploring the world, learning, digging deep into hobbies and bettering yourself. You will never again likely have this level of freedom and the head or heart space to immerse yourself in so much.
Value yourself more.
You matter and are impacting this world every day. Don’t undervalue yourself. There is no such thing as being ‘just a teacher’ so don’t ever use that phrase like it is less than anything anyone else is doing. Your paycheck will never define you no matter how many digits are involved in the number. Furthermore, your value does not live within the size of your pants. Health is of great importance, but being healthy is way more than what size you are. Your value is in your heart and the love you aim to show every student, friend, family member, and stranger you meet. You get to choose the impact you are leaving on the world.
Believe more fully in God’s plan.
It’s easy to get discouraged and to question what the plan is from time to time. It is natural to feel uncertain, but God has a plan for me, you, and every person. A big, glorious plan that will blow your mind. Spend time with God getting to know Him, His word, and His promises. He knows you on every level and loves every bit of you, just the way you are. When God’s plan begins to take shape, you’ll feel a peace wash over you and it will be the most freeing and reassuring thing you’ll experience.
Present Day Me
Now, here I am, 5yrs into marriage with 2 young boys who think Mommy hung the moon. Now, I can see I was looking for the wrong guy all those years. The one you want is that man who finds you irresistible even when you’re make-up free and in your PJs. The man you want is the one who hears you mention wanting some chocolate and 2 days later when he grabs groceries, he shows up with some in hand, even getting dark chocolate, which he abhors (and hides it away from the kids so it is all for you). The man you want is the one who takes the kids downstairs for breakfast so you can sleep in or get ready without little ones climbing on you. Choose the man who chooses you: he chooses to call, text, send carrier pigeons just to get messages to you. He chooses to drive 1.5hrs to see you for a few hours. You want the man who sets the example for your children of what it means to love wholeheartedly and make your marriage the priority. Your children deserve the dad who can’t wait to teach them how to do the things he loves to do or things that are necessary to be self-sufficient. The man who doesn’t expect you to be his mom, he can wash his own dishes or do his own laundry thank you very much, that’s your guy.
My hubbers is this guy and there is not one man I dated before him that would have been. Don’t believe for a second that we both don’t falter at times or that there is never an argument. At the end of the day, we are two flawed humans choosing to come together, choosing to love, and choosing to attempt giving our best.
What have you learned from past relationships to make your current, or future, one even better?