If you could have the chance to do something over, what would it be? When playing a game as a kid, if our turn didn’t go as we’d hoped, all you needed to do was shout ‘do over’ and get to take another shot. Now, I know that our experiences are valuable and make us who we are today but don’t we all have that one moment in time, if given the opportunity, we’d like to ‘do over’?
I was watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey the other day (yeah yeah, don’t think I can’t see you rolling your eyes) and saw one of the women, Caroline, having a talk with her daughter, Lauren, about feeling beautiful and happy at the way she looks. I want to reach through the camera and tell Lauren that she will regret how she spent her twenties if she continues thinking that way. But I can’t because even if I did, and she didn’t have a restraining order put on this crazy lady who is yelling at her through the television, she is 23 and needs to figure it out for herself.
I remember being about 20 years old and needing a dress for my sorority formal. Sitting in the dressing room, I cried because nothing would fit. I had gained a lot of weight during college and I remember watching my mom’s heart break, watching her daughter hurt and knowing that there was nothing she could do about it. She tried so hard to make me feel better but really, there was nothing she could do. I remember her telling me how wonderful I was and that I would be so much happier if I could just lose the weight. I believed in my core that I was a fat, undeserving mess and finding a disguise that fit was my only objective. I ignored every word my mother said except, “…if you just lost the weight”. Looking back now, I want to understand why I felt that way. I had about 100 things going for me and yet I refused to acknowledge anything but the one thing holding me back. I had a wonderful, loving set of parents who adored me, a boyfriend who cared about me too… lots of friends who if, in hindsight, I had gotten out of my own head long enough, would have been tremendous assets in my future. I was smart, funny, and wait a goddamn second…
I am smart. I am funny. I have a tremendous heart and am just a plain old nice girl. I want to go back to that girl sitting in that dressing room and shake her and tell her that her whining is just a waste of time and there is a whole world of people to love and waiting to love her back if she would just get the hell out of her own way. I to tell her that we lost all that weight, plus more, and still focus on things that aren’t perfect, ignoring the 100 things going for us. But I can change it.
What would happen if I lived each day trying to focus on what is right in my world and not the things that aren’t going my way. What would happen then? I might just look back at 40 and say that was the best time of my life.