Thursday, October 3, 2013

If I could do something over

I am not a proponent of the mental exercise "If you could do something over, what would it be..." because that change or wish for change, would have never come to fruition, your current level of consciousness would have never emerged, had you not lived life the way you lived it. I'm all for change, but it has to be grounded in the present.

This question has come up quite a few times recently. And I could never come up with an answer that I found worthy of a traveling through space and time for a life change.

However, today, well, last night, I think I found my answer. The change that I would have, would be a non-changer. I wish that I didn't drift apart from certain people from such a young age.

I think back of some individuals when we were kids. They were loving, self-less, creative, passionate, playful, innocent, and above all, kind. Somehow, over the years, maybe because my parents started to pray at a different mosque, or we lived in a different town, I just didn't get to see these individuals anymore, and we drifted.

I think about them now, not with a romanticized idealism, but with the memory of an elementary school child. They never were hurtful, always positive, they sought fun in everything they did, and always hoped for the best for everyone. We grew apart and for a few of my middle school years, and my new friends were not the same. I remember too many incidents of petty selfishness, preferentialism, and out-right mocking/bullying in ways that can destroy a person. Then, I got to late middle-school and early high school, and my relationships changed slightly. But the bullying, the mocking, the picking on each other was couched in love, friendship, and "fun". I didn't realize it at the time, but I hated it.

It has never been part of who I am as a person to mock or tease someone, even in the name of fun or "just joking". I have gotten to the point that as an adult, its extremely difficult for me to take a joke. Not that I am a super serious person... I'm silly as puddy... but in that same, childish, elementary school way... Not the average mid-twenties form of humor.

Anyway, the purpose of my post is this: I know I can't go back and "undrift" from people.... but I will make some changes (or unchanges?) in real time.

1- I will seek out friends who are positive, even in their humor.

2- I will stop trying to tease people, since obviously, I can't do it "right" and I'm sick of being pressured to do it just in the name of "getting along" with people my age group.

3- When people (i.e. close people) tease me, I will tell myself... this is their love language... and walk away. I will not think about it beyond the time it takes for the words to escape their lips.

4- I will not dwell on any negativity. I used to be an extremely positive person, where doubts would be banished with a bat of an eye. I miss that part of me, who was instrumental in who I am now today. I don't think I would have gotten so far in life, had I been a negative person. But over the last few years, cynicism has taken a hold of me and refuses to allow me to progress or enjoy my progress.

5- Reward myself. I know, selfish. But it was a habit I always used to have. I would reward myself with small things. A nice cup of coffee. A hug from a person that I love. A long, long, long solitary walk. An intense work out. A nice book to read from the library. An extra hangout with friends. I know happiness doesn't come from "things" but I do believe it comes from an appreciation of what you have. Therefore....

6- Consider all that I have, express gratitude and appreciation, and be content.

I'm going to stop here. I could probably go on for another 6 years of typing... 

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