I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately. I’ve been focused on things that could’ve been. What I could have been, who I could have been, how things could be so different if I had simply done this or said that.
I could still have that group of friends if I hadn’t quit softball. I could be the jock my dad always wanted me to be instead of the awkward nerd I am now. I could be on my way to the Olympics, ready to be the next Jenny Finch- better than Jenny Finch. All of the time and money and training put into my pitching arm wouldn’t have gone to waste.
He could still be in my life, either as friends or something more if I hadn’t ruined everything. He could’ve been the best thing that ever happened to me. He was one of the best things to ever happen to me, and I messed it up. I sit in my car listening to a song that reminds me of him. I stand under the scorching water in the shower and think back to past conversations. I find myself missing him at the most inconvenient times and it’s torture. I feel entirely useless because there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it.
My entire high school career could be on a completely different path. I could be the IB Diploma candidate I thought I was going to be instead of the tenor saxophone section leader I am now. I wouldn’t have 10 beautiful people calling me Mom and constantly driving me utterly bonkers with their antics.
With all this incredibly depressing, tear inducing reflection, I get stuck in a thought spiral. Once one bad memory surfaces, they take their turns swimming around my head all night long.
One night, in a melatonin induced stupor, I came to the conclusion that the ‘what ifs’ of life aren’t worth spending time on. I am here to live. I am here to make mistakes and learn from them. I am not here to relive my worst memories every day.
I am the sum of my choices. I am the woman you know because of the things I said and did. I am me, no matter the mistakes and triumphs I have endured. I can’t dwell on the choices I did or didn’t make. I can’t change who I am because I’ve already made myself. I will never meet the woman I could’ve been because she doesn’t exist. She never will exist, no matter how long I think about her. I have to focus on who I can become.
I can’t spend anymore time crying in the shower. I’m wasting water.