Updated: Oct 10, 2019
I'll start off by saying, that I'm still here and I'm still alive. I don't know what has kept my fingers from my keys since January, but it's about time that that pattern stopped. I think once I found someone that I could talk their ear off about everything, it kind of replaced my need to write it all down. But I feel like I still need that part of me, especially since I love the feeling of getting it all out and letting it all go.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the past and how I got to where I am now. I know it's bad to regret things in life, but sometimes I wish I could change the past. Though, I guess if I went back and changed things, I wouldn't have the same life as I do now. I may not be in Nashville; I for sure wouldn't have met Matt; I probably wouldn't be working at Wyndham. But there's this part of me that wants to slap that young girl in the face, and say "wake the heck up, and live in this moment".
While I scrolling on Instagram yesterday, I saw a girl post about starting college, and how excited she was. To be honest, it made me kind of jealous. I felt stupid getting jealous over something like that, especially since I don't even know her, but I did. She's right at the beginning of everything, and for a slight moment I wished I was there. I wished I could go back. Even though I don't know her at all, I could imagine exactly how she feels, because I know I felt the same way. [ Although, she does have a high school sweetheart which I did not, so if I was her, I would imagine my mind would be fixed on the fact that there's a good chance he may meet some other hot blondes at his college. ] None the less, I was still jealous. Jealous that she holds the brushes to paint her future. Jealous that she has the time to change things. Jealous that she is so naive.
I remember my first day of college so well, from waking up in a camp style bunk bed, down to exactly what I wore. I had on a denim shirt paired with matching blue skinny jeans, some weird decorative pin in the middle of my shirt like a freakin' cowboy would wear, Steve Madden knee high cognac leather boots, and to top it off, straight across bangs. And I remember how awesome I felt. Like, man, I'm gonna change the world today. Everyone will know that Emily Hefta is unstoppable. Yet, I got stopped, and I got stopped multiple times. Which is why, not very so often, I feel like I have to go back. I have to unmiss that, I have to undo that moment, I have to unfix those friendships I didn't need, I have to undate that guy, I have to unsend those texts, I have to redo my time abroad, I have to undo caring about what they said about me, and so on.
Like I said before, I don't regret my past, but haven't you ever thought about tweaking some steps you took? Thought about, where you would be if you knew then what you know now? Yeah, that's how I feel. I feel like I didn't fully take advantage of life in college. Some may say otherwise, if they're just looking on the outside of things, but truthfully I rushed it. I graduated in 3 years, and only attended my college for 2.5 years. I wanted so badly to be out and in the world! To be working, and to start my own life without any rules or regulations! So I did, and I did it quickly.
But, like how stupid is it for me to compare myself like that? And how stupid is it for me to say "what if"?
And how stupid it is for you to feel the same way that I feel!
Are we not missing out on the moments now, just like we did then, by constantly comparing where our lives have ended up? The one thing we say we regret, "not living in the NOW ", is exactly what we fall victims of every single day! We waste time thinking about things we wish we had now, or playing the comparison game every day, that we miss out on pushing our lives forward and hitting our goals! If you compare yourself at least once a day, how many minutes, hours, or days do you think you can get back from that short time that you just easily wasted?? None. That's right; you don't get any of that time back! And soon enough, you find yourself many hours later, in a black hole of jealousy! So why do we keep doing it if we know that there aren't any pros to it? I honestly don't have a good answer for that.
Let's be honest, are we ever going to stop comparing ourselves? Probably not. But ... how can we do it in less of an extensive way? Here's some steps that I found on a great website Zen Habits:
Awareness. Most often we do these social comparisons without realizing we’re doing it. It’s a natural act, I suppose, and as a result it’s something that is done without consciousness. So the solution is to become conscious — bring these thoughts to the forefront of your consciousness by being on the lookout for them. If you focus on these thoughts for a few days, it gets much easier with practice, and soon it’ll be hard not to notice.
Stop yourself. Once you realize you’re doing these comparisons, give yourself a pause. Don’t berate yourself or feel bad — just acknowledge the thought, and gently change focus.
Count your blessings. A better focus is on what you do have, on what you are already blessed with. Count what you have, not what you don’t. Think about how lucky you are to have what you have, to have the people in your life who care about you, to be alive at all.
Focus on your strengths. Instead of looking at your weaknesses, ask yourself what your strengths are. Celebrate them! Be proud of them. Don’t brag, but feel good about them and work on using them to your best advantage.
Be OK with imperfection. No one is perfect — intellectually, we all know that, but emotionally we seem to feel bad when we don’t reach perfection. You aren’t perfect and you never will be. I certainly am not, and I’ve learned to be OK with that. Sure, keep trying to improve, but don’t think you’ll ever be the “perfect person”. If you look at it in a different way, that imperfection is what makes you who you are, you already are perfect.
Don’t knock others down. Sometimes we try to criticize others just to make ourselves look or feel better. Taking someone else down for your benefit is destructive. It forms an enemy when you could be forming a friend. In the end, that hurts you as well. Instead, try to support others in their success — that will lead to more success on your part.
Focus on the journey. Don’t focus on how you rank in comparison to others — life is not a competition. It’s a journey. We are all on a journey, to find something, to become something, to learn, to create. That journey has nothing to do with how well other people are doing, or what they have. It has everything to do with what we want to do, and where we want to go. That’s all you need to worry about.
Learn to love enough. If you always want what others have, you will never have enough. You will always want more. That’s an endless cycle, and it will never lead to happiness. No matter how many clothes you buy, no matter how many houses you own (seven, in the case of one famous candidate), no matter how many fancy cars you acquire … you’ll never have enough. Instead, learn to realize that what you have is already enough. If you have shelter over your head, food on the table, clothes on your back, and people who love you, you are blessed. You have enough. Anything you have over and above that — and let’s admit that all of us reading this blog have more than that — is more than enough. Be good with that, and you’ll find contentment.
So moral of this story y'all, stop comparing yourself to others or your past, because you ultimately lose so much valuable time!