Ever-Changing Reflection

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Monday, November 28, 2011

#21DJC: I'm going back in time, like Huey Lewis and the News...

This is a catch-up journal entry, but one that I was very excited about. Hindsight is always 20/20, they say, and I really try to live in the present and stay out of the past. However, I do believe it is often worthwhile to reflect on some key decisions you made in the past and what you learned to gain some insight into the present and how you would like to act in the future. That said...

Image credit: Personal Excellence blog

If you are to travel back in time to three years ago, what advice would you give yourself? How old were you three years ago? What was happening at that time? What would you say to yourself and why?

Let's start with the easy facts. Three years ago was November 2008, and I was 27. This was before I started this blog, so we cannot go back to this time in Nifer Musings history to see where I was and what I was thinking. No, you're just going to have to take my word on all of this. My life was radically different.

I was slaving away at the same job I had been doing for two and a half years, and I dreaded going into work every day. I loved my teammates, but all the drama surrounding me and what I did was ridiculous. I was looking for a way out professionally and felt pretty discouraged. The light at the end of the tunnel was my freelance gig, which I still maintain today.

The one awesome thing about my job was the amount of vacation I received. I had just returned from a week-long cruise in Bermuda with my boyfriend, best friend and her husband. We had a great time, despite the ship not living up to our expectations.

Overall I was happy. I was dating the man I had loved for years (and still am!), I had enough freedom and plenty of cash due to living at home. Life was pretty good.

Ok, there was another dark spot: my father was sick and on dialysis for kidney disease, which I have wrote about on this blog. He was getting progressively worse, and his deteriorating health strained all of our relationships.

If I could go back and have a cup of coffee with 27-year-old me, I would tell her to slow down and relax. Back then, I was very anxious for the next thing -- getting a better job, making more money, progressing my relationship, moving out of my parents' house. All of that came, and will come, in time. Perhaps it all came too quickly because I was pushing too hard for it. There is a time, a season and a reason. Respect that.

I would advise myself to be patient with my parents since they were going through an awful time, facing challenges no one should have to face. I would let myself know that things would get better soon; Dad would not be sick forever, and once he started feeling better, he would be happier and easier to get along with.

Be grateful for what you have and where you are right now; this is the easy time when you don't have the world on your shoulders, you aren't particularly challenged professionally or emotionally or financially, and you are free to travel and have a little bit of 20-something fun. Enjoy that. Live it up. Don't take it for granted. Someday you will miss the things you are cursing now.

See? Those are all lessons that I can apply now, as well as I could have applied them three years ago. In fact, we could all apply them now, I am sure.

So, what would you tell yourself if you could travel back three years? Where and who were you then?

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