“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened… or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move on.” ~Tupac Shakur

It’s hard to let go of the past, especially when you have anxiety. My anxiety causes me to overthink, which involves lingering in the past, agonizing over past mistakes.

After weeks of opening up and talking to compassionate people about my struggles – boundary setting, speaking up for myself – I’ve come to one conclusion: I need to move on.

Do I benefit from wishing I had done things differently? Does pondering if I should’ve been more bold change this fact?

 

I needed to stand up for myself, one way or another.

 

I wish I had the hindsight that I do now. Though, there is no benefit in doing this.

I already know what my regrets are. I also know that my actions are the best I could’ve made with the knowledge I had.

Being a teenager is rough for everyone. I no longer place undue pressure on my high school self for the decisions I made.

Examples of My Stressors:

  • Grieving the deaths of loved ones
  • Being expected to figure out how to cope
  • Keeping  straight As
  • Planning my future
  • Dealing with other teenagers
  • Deal with grown adults (high school never ends)

It’s a miracle I managed to hold on long enough to graduate!!! What’s the point in exerting energy over things that already happened? The lessons have been learned and it’s time to do something with them.

Making sure I don’t repeat the same mistakes, recognizing cycles, and treating myself with the love and compassion I so freely give to others is how I choose to move on, to continue to grow, to dare to change.

Forgiveness

I took a psychological values test back in undergrad. The results showed that forgiveness is something I value very little.

  • Love of Learning
  • Love
  • Autonomy
  • Curiosity

In contrast, these were ranked very high.

I found this strange, but I was NOT surprised !

Despite forgiveness being a virtue preached to me since childhood, the idea that I have to forgive someone who has wronged me never sat well.

Growing up, I always made it a point to accept apologies and even extend my hand to people who never bothered to try. 

I was done dealing with selfish people who felt entitled to forgiveness. However, it took another four years to start practicing what I know to be the truth.

No one is entitled to my forgiveness, or yours. Just as I am not, nor you, entitled to the forgiveness of others.

Being post-grad for three months now, I’ve had time to reflect on my college experience, without being influenced by the campus environment. 

I’m proud of myself for being the bigger person, for trying to understand and empathize with people who never have and never will try to do the same for me. 

I am not going to beat myself up for failing to meet the unrealistic expectations of false friends, or antagonistic acquaintances. 

To love myself, respect myself, and advocate for myself I must forgive myself. In order to move on, I must forgive myself. No more “if I knew then what I know now”. The fact is that I did what I did and knew what I knew. Nothing can or will ever change that. 

Reflecting On My Rumination

In what ways do I benefit from wishing I had done things differently?

I pondered over whether I should’ve been more or less frank when defending myself. I wish I had the hindsight that I do now. Though, there is no benefit in doing this.

I already know what my regrets are. I also know that in those moments, my actions are the best I could’ve made with the knowledge I had.

My teenage years were rough. Still, I no longer place undue pressure on my high school self for decisions I made.

The stress overwhelmed me, and I used the knowledge and resources I had available. I made both good and bad decisions. 

I grieved the deaths of loved ones. I was expected to just figure out how to cope AND keep good grades AND plan my future AND deal with other teenagers AND deal with grown adults – it was too much!

It’s a miracle I managed to hold on long enough to graduate.

Conclusion

What’s the point in exerting energy over things that already happened? The lessons have been learned and it’s time to do something with them.

Making sure I don’t repeat the same mistakes, recognizing cycles, and treating myself with the love and compassion I so freely give to others is how I choose to move on, to continue to grow, to dare to change.

As I continue to grow into myself (and eventually blossom), I will surely continue to make mistakes. I look forward to seeing how I apply what I’ve learned over the years. 

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