Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mistakes

I found a quote today written by Elbert Hubbard (who's he?):

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one."

This is me. I'm constantly worrying and fearing that I'm going to make mistakes. It's not a fun way to live. It keeps me from trying things, it holds me back. And, does this keep me from making mistakes? No, I still make them. I wish I didn't fear failure so much. I don't feel like I live up to my potential. I try to learn from my mistakes, because that's all we can do, right?

I make plenty of little mistakes, like setting our sprinkler system to go off at 6am but it went off today at 6pm instead. Oops. I'm hoping the HOA nazis don't notice. People are fanatical about water schedules here, and our neighbors haven't been the most welcoming.

I make big mistakes, like forgetting to pay an insurance bill and losing auto insurance for a month. Oops. Turns out they punish you if you don't have insurance and make you pay even more once you sign back up. (And this even though we didn't have wrecks or speeding tickets on our records!)

Looking back on my life, there are decisions I wish I could change. One of them involved going off to college. I wish I had choosen a different one than the one I went to. I applied to four colleges (and got into all four), but I chose to attend SMU, the one that my boyfriend was going to, my best friend was going to, had the most people I knew going to, etc. At the time, I thought I wanted to go there because it looked fun but I think I needed that security as well. It was a hard time in my life. My parents were separating and my little sister was leaving for boarding school, and I felt like my family was falling apart.

In retrospect, it was a bad plan. My best friend and I decided to be roommates. Bad idea. We had a huge falling out about a month or so into school, and it ruined our relationship. We didn't speak for years, we weren't involved in each other's weddings and births of our first children.

I wonder what life would have been like if I had gone to Trinity University instead. Maybe I could have finished my degree and gone into a career in medicine. Would I be happier? Would I be more successful? Who would I be? Would I have my children? I can't imagine my life without them.

Do I regret my decisions? No, I can't, because it led me to where I am now, with my husband and two wonderful children. Has the journey been tough? Yes. Do I feel like I know who I am and what I need to do with my life now? No, I don't. I think I lost myself somewhere along the way. But, I can't regret it. It's made me who I am now, for better or worse. I can only grow from this point onward.

So, if I can stop fearing every step I take foward, I think I could actually get somewhere. I've made mistakes, and I've learned from them. I know I'll make more, but that just makes life interesting, right? I keep telling myself that.

What mistakes have you made (big or small)?

6 comments:

Kat said...

I can't believe I didn't click on your other blog until now! Everytime I think of fear motivating actions, I think of that great movie with Meryl Streep and Albert Brooks...oh...what was it called? Wait...gotta imdb it: oh yeah, "Defending Your Life." Have you seen it?

Rhea said...

I haven't seen that movie, Kat. Is it good? Glad you found this blog. I post more on this one than the other.

Kat said...

It is a good movie -- add it to your netflix queue (right there along with "Thank you for smoking!"). Albert Brooks' character dies and goes to a place where he has to defend his life - and if he "wins" his case, he can move on to a higher plane of existence. If he does not win, he has to be born again to try and live without fear. It's hilarious. He meets Meryl Streep in this "holding" place -- you can eat however much you want -- and Shirly McLaine hosts the pasts lives pavillion. Okay...so my description doesn't do it justice...it's really funny. Promise :-)

tearese said...

oh I love that movie! I didn't know what it was called, so now I can look for it! I too have made fear based decisions. Went to the University in my home town instead of moving away (though I got up the courage to leave when I was 23). Didn't enter art contests for fear of rejection, that sort of thing. It always makes you wonder about those alternate realities that would exist for each decision you made, you know?

tearese said...

ps I commented on the post about your neighbors.

Rhea said...

Thanks for coming by, Kat and Tearese! I appreciate your comments.