Don’t Look Back in Anger: Your Mistakes and Hardships Help You Grow

I won’t get into the whole story, but I ended up Googling myself today (don’t judge — we’ve all done it). One of the search results was for a wedding registry on the Knot for my ex-fiance and me, and the wedding date was set for next summer. My initial reaction was to shout “no!” from the top of my lungs. I couldn’t believe there was still evidence of that extremely painful part of my life on the Internet, especially something so easy to for anyone stumble upon. Then I went through feeling briefly sad at how things turned out, to extremely relieved. I can’t imagine how my life would’ve turned out if I’d actually gotten married. I often get upset with myself for being that dumb and naïve, for putting myself through so much emotional and mental stress, and ignoring all my loved ones who tried to advise me against it.

But really, what’s the point in hating yourself for making a mistake? Sure, I know better now, but I wouldn’t know what I do now if I hadn’t made that mistake. It doesn’t matter how badly you mess up — what matters is what you take away from the experience. I didn’t know these seemingly obvious things when I was younger, but because of this experience, I learned never to stay in a relationship with someone who wanted to control or change me. I learned that I have so much more to offer than just being someone’s girlfriend. I learned that nothing lasts forever (no matter how much you will it), but that isn’t always a bad thing. I’m not perfect now, but because of that mistake, I became the much stronger, smarter person I am today, and I wouldn’t have come this far otherwise.

You may feel like shit when you think about the embarrassing choices you’ve made in the past, the people you dated, the opportunities you missed, and so on. But you can’t change the past. What you can control are your attitude and actions in the present. So don’t be angry when you think about your past mistakes or failures. Be glad that you put yourself out there and tried, and motivate yourself with the knowledge that if you could get through this, you could get through anything.


Note: I feel like I always have to mention this at the end of my ex-relationship-bashing posts. I’m in no way trying to hate on/bash my ex or our past relationship. I loved him a lot and we had great times — it wasn’t always great but I learned a lot and am at a place now where I can write about it cathartically. 

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