We all have them. Decisions we wish we could revisit and choose another course. Words we’ve said in the heat of the moment, but are unable to take back. Relationships we started that turned out to be dead ends, and ones we ended too soon, missing out on the life to be found there. Times when we let fear hold us back, and others when we allowed our pride to push us ahead before we were ready. Some years feel like a total waste, as we lingered in our shame, fear, and disappointment. And then, there are those times when we made what can only be called terrible mistakes. Errors in judgement that cost us, and those we love great harm. Every experience up until now has made us who we are today, and we’ve all arrived to our present moment on the backs of our stories. All of them.
Looking back over my life, I have very few regrets. In fact, there’s really only one, and it cost me a lot. When I was in college, I had a conversation with my dad that changed the course of my history, and if I could have one do-over, it would be that one phone call. I allowed his patriarchal view of women and the world to color my own. Instead of speaking up and applying for graduate school, I stayed quiet and took a job to pay the bills. In listening to his, I silenced my own voice, and rather than owning my intelligence and strength, I turned them out to pasture. It took me a long time to find my way back to myself and take the reins into my own hands.
Slowly but surely I put a period on the end of that story, which was the only way I could begin to write a new one. It would have been easy to allow that many year detour to define me for the rest of my life, and there are still times, if I’m honest, that I indulge myself by replaying the shoulda-coulda-woulda song, but those times are short lived, and few and far between. It was that detour that led me to the work I have today. It is because of that experience that I am passionate about helping others step more fully into their own lives, access and trust their inner wisdom, and bring all they have to offer, in whatever form, to a world waiting for what they have to give.
Every choice and chapter will always be a part of our story, but they don’t have to define us forever. The only way they can is if we let them. In my better moments, I am even able to thank my dad for helping me to find an unconventional trail to wholeness, meaning, and purpose. Because that is that story that now defines my life.