What do you wish you knew when you were younger?
A dear blogger friend asked me to write my thoughts about this in a post and at first I thought, thanks but I’ll get to it when I can.
Then I started reading the collection of bittersweet thoughts and sentiments from a few brave souls who took on this seemingly subtle but intense challenge and a burst of inspiration showed up, unannounced, uninvited and unexpected and not taking no for an answer.
It shoved my other priorities aside to make room for the urge to write from the heart.
Oh how stubborn and selfish the heart can be, how unreasonable on an idle Tuesday afternoon, and in this case, how ironic, dropping all else to take a trip down memory lane to recount its own silly mistakes, its near regrets, its long wishes, and its sincere apologies to the self.
Alas, I have learned to follow this stubborn, unreasonable, selfish heart to the end of the world and back so there’s no refusing it this small request now. But panic not, my dear readers!
I will guard the flow of thoughts, keep my promised attempt at brevity in this post and rest assured I shall not be getting naked on my blog or delve into too much transparency but what needs to be said shall be said.
Alright, shall we get on with the show then?
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I wish I had always felt proud and not ashamed of my roots, my name and my nationality.
I wish I did not care, as I do now, what anyone thought about me, my accent and my awkward ways in high school.
I wish I had kept up with my French on a daily basis, reading 10 minutes aloud as Dr. Bednar begged me to do. I am paying for it now but thank God my love for French is of the undying kind.
I wish I had kept up with my mother tongue. I still speak it fluently but the beautiful Persian (Farsi) writing skills of that 12-year old girl are long since gone.
I wish I had never lost my childhood friends. Now that I have found them, I will never lose them again.
I really wish I had started feeding my insatiable desire of traveling a long time ago…..so many reasons and so many excuses but in the end, I waited. Now, I cannot seem to satisfy this famished heart, no matter what I do. I cannot stop romancing with travel in my mind and I wonder if I can ever be completely full.
I wish I had picked up and gone to live somewhere far away by myself for any period of time. Now it is a bittersweet wonder thinking about the chances I never took.
I wish I had been braver. Not in matters of the heart, I was plenty brave there! In matters of choosing how I live, where I live, and what I do for a living.
Oh how I wish I had been more adventurous in what I do for a living. Now I have a lifetime of work to feed yet another famished desire on the brink of starvation.
I wish I had learned to forgive earlier in my life. I wish I knew its healing powers are truly for the one who forgives.
I wish I had not let family nonsense create years of distance between me and my cousins. Now it would take an army of men and an act of God to even try and separate us.
I wish I had written down every single memory of my grandfathers so I wouldn’t have to beg my parents to fill the aching gaps. If only I had recordings of their perfect voices. I wish I just remembered more.
I wish I had taken care of my body when it broke down in the face of injuries, rather than stubbornly pressing on. I wish I had been kinder to myself.
I wish I had read more classics and less business books after college and in the years which followed. Now I will never be caught up!
I wish I had been more patient and less judgmental of the love of my life, my best half, my partner and my friend. Now I delight in making it up to him for the rest of my days.
I wish I knew how to just drop an argument when I can hardly remember what on earth I was arguing about two days later. Only heartache remains after a silly quarrel or even an intense one. The most bitter lesson of all for the intimate relationships of our life!
I wish I had found my yoga yearning when I needed it the most, in my early 20s.
I wish I had given less of myself to work and more of myself to me.
I wish I had reflected more often, listened inwardly more carefully and followed my heart more unconditionally.
Alas, we live and learn. The most important things turned out just fine. The rest shaped the edges of my personality and gave me determination for living life on my terms now. With all this wishful thinking, even if I could, I should not be able to bear to turn back the hands of time and make adjustments to what is already lived and done with. I do not have the guts to leave this moment for even a second, lest I come back to find it even slightly changed from its perfect pure present state.
I think decisions of our early youth, no matter where we fall on the wishful thinking scale, are bound to us with a sense of longing and tenderness. We think of the young, all-knowing, all-encompassing spirit we used to be and we can hardly blame ourselves.
We did the best we could at the time with best of intentions, a good heart and the tools at our disposal. If we had followed the advise of our elders, we would to this day be wondering what if we had not! If we had taken too many risks, we may be looking back with nostalgia at the safer road to adulthood and if we had followed along with less risks and safer choices, we would be wondering about the unexplored adventures we must’ve missed out on.
There is just no winning at this game. There is no way to know what would’ve been or could’ve been. Regrets are pointless.
What is done is done. Whatever happened happened (yes I did steal that from LOST!)! There is only a path ahead, a life to live, lessons to learn and an evolution of the mind and heart which eventually leads us to exactly where we need to be and precisely whom we are meant to become.
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