I have learned to be kind and treat myself with the same understanding that I give others. Coming to this conclusion has not been a lifelong process and has not been without heartache and sadness. Through these challenges, I have come out with a greater appreciation for the phrase ‘to err is human.’ So what have been some of my greatest mistakes that have turned into lessons learned? There have been many, but to name a few:
-Losing touch with my childhood best friend. I drifted from him as we grew up and wasn’t mature enough to recognize that even though we were growing apart, there are certain memories that I have that only he was a part of – climbing trees in our backyards, riding our hotwheels, playing with toys in our nursery school class, sharing his Jewish holiday tradition by eating potato latkes at his kitchen table.
-Saying words in anger in response to my loved ones, especially my husband and my mother, who both tend be fiery and excitable, but also dedicated and loving.
-Not having enough confidence in myself to know that I was capable of becoming anything that I wanted to be and that yes, I could choose a lucrative career path and be fulfilled at the same time. I love making human connections and helping others, but making money is very important too! It is stressful being in a career where make just enough to not be struggling, but not enough to forget about balancing the checkbook week to week.
I have worn my heart on my sleeve without reservation, and this has negatively affected some of my relationships outside of my family. Now I am better reading a situation, and knowing when to be brief and reserved, or when it is okay to open up. I realize that not everyone wants honest and open conversation and that some feel threatened or embarrassed opening up or hearing such honesty. No matter what the circumstances, I am completely comfortable saying, ‘I am well, how about you?!’ to certain people as I recognize the importance of small talk and surface chatter. It builds trust and makes people feel more comfortable
ll this being said, I am gloriously happy with my life. I have learned to not compare, as the grass always looks greener from the other side. I have learned to use action instead of reaction. I have reached out to my childhood friend and reconnected, even if it is on an acquaintance basis. I have friends of all type- whether it be soccer friends, old friends, work friends, acquaintances in my community- and they all bring a different type of meaning to my life. I have said kind and apologetic words to my husband and mom. I frequently remind myself that they are seeing things from a different perspective than I and that I need to be understanding and appreciative of them. I recognize the strong love I have between each of them that keeps life exciting. I look at the positives with my job- it’s emotionally rewarding, I have autonomy, I have a flexible schedule– and focus on those highlights, rather than what it lacks.
I had had known better not to make these mistakes, life would be different, but I am not sure how. These struggles have made me stronger and wiser, so I will take them at face value and be grateful for each day.
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