You never know when you might feel an odd pang of regret.
You can be minding your own business when you suddenly realize how self-conscious and self-centered you were as a college student. You wonder why you didn’t ask better questions and get to know a wider array of people when you had the chance. Instead, you just worried that your hair was too frizzy and that your stomach was too fat and that no one would ever actually want to marry you.
You look around and see how few friends you’ve accumulated while settled on this patch of land and you realize you must have done something wrong, terribly, terribly wrong. Are you still so cocooned in your own little world that you have failed to reach out to other people? Do you repel people? Do you smell? What, exactly, could be wrong with you? Is it your breath?
You reach a particular age and you realize that some doors have closed behind you. In fact, they have clanged with the finality of prison bars, locking you out. And even though you wanted to be where you are, you’re kind of bummed that you can’t retrace your steps and choose a different sort of life. Why didn’t you become a nurse when you had the chance? What stopped you from going to a better college?
You’re too old, too old, too old says the chant in your head.
You wonder about your dad and wish you’d known him as a person instead of as an obstacle to elude and an authority to avoid. You were always so scared in a vague sort of undefined way. What frightened you? If only you’d been braver and spoken up when you had the chance. If only you’d known how to ask better questions and been brave enough to hear the answers.
You remember the diary you kept were you in second grade. It was a five-year diary, which is an impossible block of time to comprehend when you are eight. You can’ t believe you burned it when you were eighteen, afraid that someone would laugh at the scrawled thoughts of your eight-year old self. You were embarrassed about being childlike, even when you were a child. You still cringe at reminders of your childhood actions.
You’re still scared but without good reason. You’re still that eight year old girl underneath it all. You still worry that no one will sit with you in the cafeteria.
You wish you were outward facing instead of inward focused.
That would change your perspective and your life.
You know it’s true.