You know those moments in your favorite movie or television show when the character has a flashback of a life changing moment. The moment when the ex boyfriend says something influential that if they would have listened at the time could have prevented the devastating situation they have found themselves in today. Do you ever have those moments? Where you look back on life and replay what you said or the actions you took and wished you would have done something different?
Frequently, I find myself looking back on my life and realizing that where I am today is a place that I could have been sooner had I made different choices. When I asked my dear friend why he decided to return to medical school after quitting years earlier, he told me
Whether I decide to do it today or tomorrow the years will still pass otherwise.
Sometimes I find myself in the exact same situation years down the road crossing the same decision fork. I am faced with the same choices that were in front of me years before. Sometimes we are forced into decisions we should have otherwise made ourselves. Or in other words, we are forced into making the harder right instead of the easier wrong. We shouldn’t let fear control our decisions.
I can think of several times in my life when this occurred. Today I would like to share my experience of my first year of college. I loaded up my car with all my favorite items to decorate my new student housing I was sharing with 7 other girls. One of them being my best friend from high school. We were inseparable so it only made sense that we would also spend the next four years together sharing a room.
A week into sharing a room with her and a home with 6 other girls we just met I found myself not sleeping, dreading going home, hiding out, and quietly loosing my patience. I had never shared a bedroom before! I barely shared a home with someone. While I was the youngest of 4 I still spent most of my time alone. My older siblings left the home early, my parents were divorced and my mother worked a lot. I was lost in my feelings and didn’t know how to act around these people I was forced to be around all the time.
So what did I decide to do? I ran! I packed up my belongings and bolted out of that apartment like it was on fire. And somehow I convinced my best friend to join me. No phone call home, no chance for a pep talk, we quietly loaded up one morning when our roommates were in class and just left. Like a thief in the night.
Biggest mistake of my life! Looking back if I only would have stayed. Overcome my fears, the awkward feelings I was experiencing I could have been more prepared for the similar challenges I faced later. But I ran! I ran faster than a cheetah out of dodge (or college town). Years later I am forced into embracing the emotional, physical and mental changes that should have happened years earlier.
Don’t be afraid of change. Don’t run like I did. Embrace it. Jump on in! Give yourself a little pep talk. You can do it. Yes it’s uncomfortable and awkward but only for a moment. It will pass and you will be all the stronger and wiser.
Embrace the awkward! Jump on in!