“No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.”
We all have regrets. We shouldn’t have taken that job, stayed with that partner, eaten that ice cream, bought that money-pit of a house, forgotten to put on sunscreen.
But no matter how many mistakes we’ve made, and no matter how difficult our lives were, or are, we can start over at any time. It’s so liberating to think about life in this way, and so very simple.
It almost sounds too simple, but maybe it’s just that we all tend to complicate things. If you’re unhappy with your job, leave. If you’re feeling stuck with your partner, leave. If you’ve eaten too much ice cream, don’t do it again. Wear sunscreen next time. You get the idea. Sometimes we stick with something too long, way past the point where we should have moved on. Time to get off the carousel before you vomit. This is not about trying your best to make things work; it’s about recognizing that we can learn from and move past our mistakes and our stuck places, on to new and better adventures.
I had a job a while ago that I knew almost immediately would not be a good fit for me. Honestly, I probably recognized this within about a month or two of working there. But I choose to stay nearly three years, because I felt it would provide me with good experience, and because I didn’t want to list a job on my resume that would have only lasted a couple of months. Plus, I didn’t want to go through the job searching process again, after having just recovered from the ordeal. All of these are very good justifications for staying, aren’t they? These are the reasons I gave when family or friends asked me why I was staying in a job that was obviously making me feel wretched.
I was miserable. I hated getting up every day for work, I felt no support at the company, I was underpaid, and my benefits weren’t good either. Why on earth didn’t I leave sooner, you say? I think it’s the “we know what we have, but don’t know what we’re going to get” syndrome. As unhappy as I was, I knew what the day would bring. Starting something new, beginning again, brings us out of our comfort zone, into a gray area that is unknown and scary. But it also can be exciting! What if the new job or new career is amazingly good and satisfying, and happiness provoking? What if the new partner makes all your dreams come true?
For me, after three years, I decided to make a change, and it really worked out for the best. I began again, despite the challenging past, and found something that I loved. I realized that the struggles I experienced in that job brought me a lot of clarity: I knew what I wanted in my next position. I knew the kind of work environment in which I would thrive, the type of boss and co-workers I wanted to be around, the sort of work I wanted to do, and the salary and benefits that I deserved. So we can make sense of the bad times, and we can begin again. And the best part is that we bring to that new beginning a lot more knowledge, common sense and maturity to the table. We can be our very best self, always changing and growing.
Call to action: What’s one part of your life that you can start over? What have you learned from the past difficulties or challenges that were or are in your life? As always, let me know in the comments below.
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