I know they say not to have any regrets in life and don’t dwell on it but sometimes our regrets can turn into huge life lessons and wisdom for other’s later in life. There have been some major events/times in my life where I wish I had made a different decision. I know that I cannot go back and change what choices I made but I did learn from them greatly.
Here are 5 choices that I learnt from and if I did ever have the chance, I would go back and make a new one.
1.) High School
Full out honestly here, I was a major slacker. This is something that I have always wished I could have changed. I have had nightmares about it. I always struggled with academics as a child and teen, especially in the math area. I also was a really shy youngster and would not ask for help when I needed it. This led to me failing projects because I was too afraid to present them. It also led me to not want to take risks in my education. I did not feel that I was capable enough for a class like chemistry or biology even though those interested me greatly.
My last few years of high school I picked all the simple classes, that way I could just float by effortlessly. I also got terrible advice from the high school counselor to purposely fail grade 12 at the last minute. That way I would be able to participate in all the events, like walk across the stage, but would then have the chance to take the courses I did want to take as a returning grade 12. Did I end up doing that? Not at all. Who would want to be a repeat?! At the time I sure did not.
My advice to others now? Do NOT be afraid to ask questions. If you need help, ask for it. Take risks and try something you are fearful of doing even if it means you might fail at it. Respect education. We are exceptionally blessed to have it. Yes, it is expensive, I’m not here to talk about that. But we HAVE it. There are people in this world that would do anything to get one. We have the resources to learn anything that we really want to. Others are not so privileged.
That was long winded, sorry, there is a reason it is #1.
|Can you spot me? Hint: My hair is black!|
2.) Not Saving
I started working as soon as I was legally allowed too. I made pretty decent money as a teenager being an Assistant Manager at Tim Hortons. I worked way more than I should have, seeing how I was still in school. My paychecks were large which drove me to always pick up shifts as much as I could. The thing is, I squandered my money away each time I got it. Drinking, food, clothes, you know the things that really “matter” at that age.
My advice now? Working isn’t bad at a young age. If it takes away from learning, cut back. Take a percentage of the money you make and set it aside in an account that will grow. Use this for either secondary education, travelling, or a down deposit for your first home.
3.) My Wedding
Jon proposed to me while I was in the last half of my year in bible college. It was exciting but I did not have the time to plan and left it mostly, if not all, in his hands. He did amazing planning everything but looking back I wish I had more of a say in it. I actually only have bad memories of my wedding day.
Maybe we could have put off the wedding until after summer or a few months further ahead so that I could have the time and not rush through planning it. It was a whirlwind leading up to and the day of. I also would have loved to spend a tad bit more on a few things, like my dress, hair, decor, photographer. We never got engagement photos done and I regret that very much.
I’m hoping to have somewhat of a re-do come our 10 year but realize that we probably won’t be able to afford it. Booo.
|Photo by Jon-Mark Photography|
Advice? Don’t rush it. Getting married for one, and the planning process. Soak it in and really think about how you want the day to run and look like. Will you love this 5 years from now looking back? Only invite those closest to you and if you haven’t spoken in over 5 years then don’t invite. Seriously. If I haven’t kept in contact with a person and I don’t get invited to the wedding it doesn’t bother me. I completely understand it!
When we were planning our wedding and discussing what forms of contraceptive we wanted to use, we both felt led by God to leave it up to Him. We felt that we would trust to let God open and close my womb in his time. A month after our wedding, I found out I was pregnant with a pregnancy test I was given as a gag joke during my shower.
I was completely excited about being a mom. However, pregnancy is hard on me, sickness wise and I was working at a children’s camp for the summer. The smells and heat were not good to me. I ended up hating every day of that summer. I think it was the guilt mostly that made me feel this way about it in the end. I missed an opportunity to pour into others and care for them.
Looking back, I wish we had waited. To have the summer feeling well so that I could have poured into the staff the way my job required of me. To the possibility of traveling and being married and just a wife for the first year of our marriage.
|Photos by: Cathy Empey, Cecilia Flamming & GC Photography|
The ironic thing about all of this is that after having my third child we re-evaluated and sought guidance from God and chose to start using a form of protection. Now a year and a half into us trying for our fourth I have experienced 3 miscarriages and we have yet to conceive a healthy child. I’m not saying that I’m being punished by any means here, just it’s completely ironic to me. And no matter how we think we are in control of things we really aren’t at all.
Alright, my advice? This one is a little harder to navigate. It is completely complicated in my eyes and extremely personal. I guess, don’t take it lightly and really have a deep discussion with your partner about how and when you want to start a family. Seek wisdom from others from both sides and evaluate it.
If you can and are able to, wait a while, even 3 months before starting a family. Have some time just to be a husband and wife.
5.) Not valuing myself
I still struggle with this. I had a lot of responsibilities and leadership at an early age. I was a Captain of a basketball team, Assistant Manager at Tim Hortons, and a Project Manager at the last company I worked for in my young adult years.
Others did not respect me because of my young age and I let them. I had/have it in me to be a leader but I let my kindness get in the way a lot of the times. There definitely is a balance that needs to be learnt.
I have since then started my own photography business and now this blog. I have devalued my services many times, especially in the photography area. I felt that I was not good enough so I would offer deals to those that I knew probably could have paid the full amount and have with other photographers since then.
My advice? Know your worth and be confident. If you are given these positions it is for a reason. Develop those leadership or artistic skills in any way that you can. Be kind but stand up for yourself. You don’t need to be everything for everyone. Really take the time to find your niche and run with it.
It is what I’m going to be working towards this summer!
Feel free to leave a comment and tell me ONE thing that maybe you would go back and change.