Thoughts: Imperfect Pasts
Do you ever stop trusting yourself a little bit?
Here’s how that lovely moment tends to manifest for me:
You look around at where you are and you decide that you don’t like it all that much. It doesn’t really fit and it doesn’t feel right and YOLO so let’s start making moves to turn things back around.
So you sit with it and think about it and soul-search and figure out you, and now that you’re all clearheaded and whatnot, you start to make your pivot.
You figure out the actions to take and everything you have to do in order to convince yourself/any other human/the universe that you are so freaking deserving of that pivot. So that you believe it and they believe it and we all freaking believe it because believers make things real and if you don’t believe me, just ask Santa.
And now that you’re believing and everyone else is believing, things are starting to happen. And the opportunities are flowing in one after the other, and you’re potentially weeks or days or moments away from manifesting your pivot.
But then you get kind of nervous.
Because you realize it was your instincts that got you to this place you’re not totally loving in the first place.
And now it was those same instincts that started flashing PIVOT at you in bright neon colors like a cheap (albeit potentially charming) motel.
So maybe those instincts were wrong.
Maybe your instincts suck.
The other day I read a quote and it basically went like this:
Stop telling yourself that your past could have been perfect.
Do you hear me?
STOP TELLING YOURSELF THAT YOUR PAST COULD HAVE BEEN PERFECT.
Believing in the potential of your perfect past is set to be a shit show for multiple reasons. First, your perception of what would have happened if you picked one job over another, one school over another, one city over another, one boy over another is nothing more than complete and utter fantasy. Literally, you’re making it up. It’s not real, and it was never meant to be real.
Second, things aren’t going to be perfect. Ever. They can’t be. For some scientific reason that I don’t understand, it just isn’t allowed. And that’s why perfection only feels attainable when you think about all the things you would have done if you knew the things you didn’t, and that’s not a super fair use of today, is it?
And third, and perhaps most importantly, you can’t keep thinking about your could have been perfect past because it’s passed. And as badly as we may want it sometimes, we just can’t have it back.
Aside from all the precious, precious time it wastes when we overthink our pasts, I think it also does something else that’s really bad. I think it makes us think that because we couldn’t make a perfect past, we’ll fail at making a perfect future, and we get too scared to try.
Now, to clarify: can you make a perfect future? No. But should you try, anyways? YES.
Well, I say yes.
There’s a quote that a lot of famous leaders have used, so I don’t exactly know who to attribute it to, but I’m acknowledging that I didn’t say it first.
Basically, it goes like this:
Plans mean nothing but planning is everything.
We have to position ourselves in the direction of the trajectory. We have to pivot even when we start to chicken out. You have to plan for your picture of perfection because even though you’ll never get there, the place you land along the way is much more likely to be Happy.
As long as life is a journey and you can’t go backwards, you have to go forwards. No matter what. So make the choice not to do that with regrets, and decide not to do it with fear.
It won’t be perfect. You can’t make it perfect. But the sooner you accept that you’re trying, you’re doing, and you can be happy, anyways, you will be.
And now that I’ve talked myself through that mini-episode, I’m back! Like magic.
Trust yourselves ❤