I’ve been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic, which is all about being your creative self. Every time I pick it up I find myself thinking, “oh that’s a great point” or “yes, exactly, what was I thinking?” (the fact that I don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to be creative was a big one). The other day I was sitting reading from it and the thought, “I wish I could have read this 30 years ago” popped into my head. It took about ten seconds for me to mentally chastise myself for that.
That “damn, I wish I’d read that / heard that / saw that 30, 20, even 5 years ago” thought has reared it’s ugly head more than a few times over the years, but it wasn’t until recently that a part of me started yelling back at it. I have plenty of life left in me and wallowing about not having the right sage wisdom or ideas or tools or opportunities earlier in my life only steals time away from acting on that wisdom, idea, etc.
I can beat myself up for the rest of my life for not having written a novel in my 20s or I can just write it now, right now. I could have sat on the couch eating chips while swimming in regrets about letting myself get so out of shape, but instead I sought out ways to get fit and healthy. I could have sunk deeper and deeper into regrets and shame for the struggles I’ve had in my life, but instead I worked hard to pull myself out of that, learn from every painful experience, misstep, and missed opportunity, and here I am sharing my journey.
I’m sure that I will die someday with regrets. I just don’t want one of them to be that I wasted my life thinking about all of the things I regret.