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What I know now

I’m going to do (kind of) a follow-up to my last post.

What would I change if I knew then what I know now?  What would I do before we moved if I knew what I know now?  What would I tell my future self?

Let me first say, I don’t believe in regrets in my life.  I don’t have any regrets.  I only have learning experiences.  I have things that have pushed me back and rocked my entire being, physically and mentally, but they’ve driven me forward to who I am now as a human.

The first thing I would tell my future self is not to worry.  Easier said than done, right? But really.  Other than my normal worries, I carried many other burdens.  Will I make friends?  Will I make what I call “soul friends?”  Will I get a job?  Will we be broke for the rest of our lives because of the move?  Will I be able to be happy here?  Now that’s the thing – with all the worrying involved, I wasn’t letting myself be happy.  I spent probably about a year worrying.  Literally.  Everyone kept telling me it takes about 2 years to settle into a new place and I didn’t believe them.  We’ve been here a year and a half now and I’m finally startling to settle in.

The second thing I would tell myself is that I will miss home more than I thought.  To be prepared for this.  Since I was a teenager I always wanted to move away.  I hated being in one spot.  So, I travelled a lot.  When we finally moved, it was glorious.  Until about a week later. Lol.  It hit me that I would always be living away from my lifelong friends and family members.  I wouldn’t be able to watch my friend’s kids and my cousin’s kids grow up.  That has been the most devastating part for me.  Would they forget me?  Will they know who I am when I visit?  Again – worrying.  I’m a “question-er” by default.  We love children, my spouse and I.  We’ve been lucky enough to be adoptive auntie and uncle to some great kids at our post.

Another thing I would tell myself is to try new things completely out of my comfort zone.  I’m a weird human.  When I travel I love to do adrenaline type activities and things that terrify me.  But when it comes to socializing – NOPE.  I thought about volunteering, joining a sports team (geez, the last time I played sports I was 10), or finding some groups to participate in.  Like I said in my last post, it is completely difficult for me to meet new people.  It includes sweaty palms, fast heartbeats, anxiety, and a whole lot of not knowing what to say.  Also an introvert, I’m not big on small talk.  Within the last 6 months I’ve made tremendous progress.  I’ve joined yoga, lead a book club, participate in painting and cooking classes, and created a newcomers group with a friend within the town.  Exposing myself to these normally “scary” activities for me was enlightening.  I have realized, hmmmm, maybe this isn’t so scary.  I continually improve my social skills each day.  And as lame as it’s sounds, I’m kind of proud of myself for that.

The last thing I would tell myself is to delete all the media pages on my Facebook and do not watch the news.  And to laugh when someone calls my spouse a pig or ALL the other mean names.  Reading articles that involve the police are almost always negative.  And it’s like I get sucked into this vortex and must read the comments people write even though I know I will end up wildly pissed off.  At first, I used to reply to peoples comments.  I definitely do not anymore.  There really is no point.  Am I going to “win?” Nope.  Impossible.  Might as well move on.

There’s something negative about the police almost every day in the news.  As spouses, we have this urge to want to protect our families.  My spouse and I don’t have children yet but I can imagine how scary it is for other police officers and spouses to try to keep their kids away from that negativity.  I recently had someone tell me that their elementary aged child went to school and another kid told him that his daddy was a pig and a killer because he is a police officer.  It’s sickening.

Anyway, I still read some comments once in awhile, but I definitely do it less.  And I imagine, as time goes on, I will probably care less.  There’s always going to be “those people.”

So.  What would you change about your journey, any journey, if you knew then what you know now?  What would you tell your future self?