Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Regrets, I've Had A Few

I've had a lot of time to think over these past few weeks and so I've been thinking about a bad habit that I have: I tend to overthink things and then actually make myself depressed.

The worst is that I'll find myself becoming depressed over things that have happened years ago or that there's absolutely nothing I can do to change. For instance, sometimes I find myself getting angry about not having won a particular music competition in high school. High school! I mean, I'm 36 years old now, so that's pretty ridiculous. Other times I find myself regretting the fact that my current best guy friend -- whom I've known since high school -- and I weren't close when we were teenagers and so don't have that history. Yet that's also silly to worry about, as he's said to me, because we're close now and we're building a history. Then there are the millions of regrets and anger I have about insults that were hurled at me as a child by bullies, times my heart was broken by boys or by friends betraying me, stuff I wish I've done and haven't.

I believe that it's okay to think about your past -- it is a part of you, after all, and helped build who you are today -- but I know that dwelling on it to the point where I'm sometimes in tears is a really bad thing. So while I won't put my past behind me, I'm attempting (attempting being the operative word here) to view it more matter-of-factly and find the positives in my life NOW. I don't think I do that enough and well, getting depressed over something that happened in 1987 isn't going to help me!

So whenever I wish that I'd had more fun in college, that I'd spent more times at parties going crazy, I'm going to remember that I DID have fun at college and am still close to many of my friends from then. Plus, the few times I did "go crazy" at parties, I didn't even like it, so it's not like I missed out on something I wanted to do.

Whenever I get angry about the fact that I didn't make the All-State Orchestra in high school despite putting in years or training just for that audition, I'm going to remind myself that I HATED doing music competitions and enjoy playing for fun much better. When I played with my friend's band last year, the audience actually cheered for me, calling my name! And I composed and produced my own CD so it's not like I haven't been a successful musician in my own way.

Whenever I regret the fact that I've spent most of my life as a young adult being overweight and have missed out on some things, I'll remind myself that I still have done a lot of things. I got married, have traveled all over the world and have a lot of friends. I may not be a beauty queen, but no one seems to care. And I'm still fairly young. I can still lose weight and go scuba diving or ballroom dancing or whatever else I want to be healthy for.

Whenever I become angry at stuff my mom said to me 20 years ago, I have to force myself to work on our current relationship. This one is tough, but we've been doing pretty well over the past few years. We don't fight like we did when I was a teen and still living at home so it's a much different dynamic.

Whenever I become angry at the abuse I suffered at the hands of my babysitters' children and various bullies from back then, I have to remember that there's NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT. It happened and I survived and if I'm still thinking about this stuff 25 years later, then they won in a way.

Like I said, I can't completely shut down my past and forget about it. But I'm trying to change my outlook and be more of an optimist about life. This way, I won't be as tempted to stuff my feelings with food and will just be able to enjoy everything around me. I don't know how successful this experiment will be, but I'm going to give it a shot!

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