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What wouldn’t you do?


 
Someone asked me what I’d change if I could go back and correct some of the mistakes I’ve made in my life.
 
“That’s a long list,” I said, then considered my answer.
 
As a child I wouldn’t have felt self-conscious about how most of my clothes seemed to be hand-me-downs or came from jumble sales. I wouldn’t have minded when other kids picked on me.
 
I wouldn’t have been so lazy at school, or spent most of my time trying to be the class clown when I should have been learning.
 
I wouldn’t have accepted my first beer at age fourteen, or started smoking at sixteen.
 
I wouldn’t have left home at seventeen to live in a hostel in London, where I had to share a room with three other guys.
 
I wouldn’t have got married at the tender age of eighteen, only to split up six years later because I was too young, too selfish and just too stupid to know how to be a good husband.
 
After my separation, I wouldn’t have let myself go to pieces, or not cared that some of my friends’ friends only knew me as ‘That guy who drank 73 pints in a single week.’
 
The more I thought about it, the longer my list became.
 
Then it hit me.
 
If I went back and changed all those mistakes, I would never have learned from them. Sure, my life would have taken a different path, but then I might never have met Senior Management. I wouldn’t be the person I am now, or have the life I have today. I wouldn’t have a beautiful wife who loves me despite my many faults and flaws. I wouldn’t have three wonderful children who drive me crazy, yet somehow complete me in a way that nothing else could.
 
So I smiled at my friend and gave him my answer: “I wouldn’t change a thing.” 
 
How about you?
 
If you could go back and live your life differently, what wouldn’t you do?
 
  

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shoebrera
Jan. 9th, 2011 09:53 pm (UTC)
Oddly, I've considered this too. My answer was the same.

But...
I would love a crystal What If ball. Ask what if and it shows you the lines your life would've taken, what it would've been like.

But...
Since I don't have one, I'll just have to appreciate lessons learned and keep wondering about a few special things -- not too many, thankfully.

Good choice!
jongibbs
Jan. 10th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I'm not sure I'd want to know about those 'what ifs', just in case, you know ;)
rowanda380
Jan. 10th, 2011 03:32 pm (UTC)
I really don't think I would change things at all, despite mistakes in my past and hard times resulting, I have a pretty great life, and I wouldn't want to jeopardize the person I have become.
jongibbs
Jan. 10th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
There are plenty of times when I wish things were different at that time, if you know what I mean, but I guess everything we are now is a result of what happened in the past, so it's all for the best :)
ladysaotome
Jan. 10th, 2011 04:50 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean (& great post, btw). It's so easy to spend so much time focusing on regrets instead of the positives that came about because of them. - Or trying to make a positive out of them.
jongibbs
Jan. 10th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
My old gran used to say, "If your glass is half empty, order your next drink now." It has no relevance. I just thought I'd mention it :)
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