Originally published October 4, 2018
And now comes the coulda woulda shoulda.
I think I may have touched on my hesitancy toward regret — seems like wasted energy, right? But if I could hop in that Wayback Machine, there may be a few instances in which I would pull myself aside and offer some advice:
To the high school me: Don’t be such a ‘fraidy cat. Sometimes I wonder if there really is an actress buried deep within, but just unable to come up for air. I think it’s more the creative gene trying to find ways to express itself, but I’m so tightly wound when it comes to putting myself out there I can’t imagine I could ever tap into that interest. That fear of failure probably got in the way more often than not and I do wonder what else I could have accomplished if I hadn’t been afraid to try.
To the college-aged me: Sensations after midnight is never a good idea. Also? Neither are Doritos by the bagful while drinking.
To the young adult me: Slow down. I have no regrets. I REPEAT. NO REGRETS. But I also know I could get wrapped up pretty easily in what was next — marriage, apartment, house, pets, kids, etc. I don’t necessarily want to go back to our tiny apartment and relive sharing a closet. (I don’t even know how we did that.) I just wish I would have taken a breath or two in the midst of it and practiced a little more gratitude for what was in my present instead of my future.
To the middle adult me: It’s going to be OK. There are times in the middle of parenting toddlers and young kids that you think there is no way you’ll survive the night. Sleep deprivation, disappointment, missed opportunities, feeling like a failure. It’s all a part of it. But the kids really are all right.
Really — there’s no desire to try to reinvent myself or reach for that lost opportunity. I am not signing up for acting classes next week. But there are chances along the way to be tap into happiness and I can only hope those younger than me take advantage of them.
Today’s recommendation: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. That girl just kept trying until she got it right.