Staring Back At Time
Right now, it’s like this.
It’s the end of the year. It has been quite a year.
Twelve months. Fifty-two weeks. Three-hundred sixty-five days. Eight-thousand seven-hundred sixty hours. Five-hundred twenty-five thousand minutes. Thirty-one million five-hundred thirty-six thousand seconds. So much time. Yet, a fraction of a lifetime.
Looking back at this year, I’m proud of what I have accomplished.
I won in a German-speaking competition in March. I’ve graduated from middle school in June. I jumped into and swam in the very cold Northern Atlantic Ocean in May. I made history in my dojo at judo in July—I currently wear a belt that no one has worn before.
I taught myself an entire math course in July and August. I climbed a mountain and swam in a lake in late August. I’m in the middle of my first year in high school. I’ve played soccer on the varsity soccer team (despite a few injuries) through September and October.
I played in two games on the varsity basketball team, but only two because of a head injury from a judo tournament in November. But I am recovering from that, too. Those aren’t all my accomplishments. I have learned about so many things that I had no idea existed, and I have become a better person.
But I have this feeling inside of me that makes me feel incomplete. I’ve done so many things, more than I can keep track of. But, I still feel partially empty.
If I had done something different in all that time, would I be happier? Would I feel whole?
I’m going to close my eyes, and think. I’m thinking about every mistake I’ve made in the past.
Saying the wrong thing. Getting something wrong on a test. Doing something that I shouldn’t have done.
So many of those moments existed. If I could fix every one of those moments, would I be content? I pictured what my life would be like if I never made one mistake.
I didn’t see myself. I saw a boring, blank, still figure. It couldn’t have been me. I knew nothing; I was nothing.
I’m opening my eyes, after thinking the truth. The answer: No.
Without those mistakes, I wouldn’t have anything to learn from. Learning the things that I have, have shaped me into the person I am right now, writing this.
I begin to think again, about other scenarios. What if I had dared to do the things I was too shy to do? What if I had said something that I never got to? What if I have done things I never could? Many pieces of the year were filled with those regrets. I pictured the alternative.
But as I begin to look at the substituted life of mine, I was looking for myself, with much more experience. But instead, I saw myself pained with consequences.
I snapped myself from that vision. That isn’t what I want. I realize now that, everything that has happened, happened for a reason.
I realized a do-over in life would be a waste. I’m content with the life I have. A do-over would ruin it all.
My decision nearly strayed away. I thought again about one thing I could’ve done in the past, something that would have changed who I am now. It was wishful thinking; a thought driven by desire.
But it would’ve never been possible.
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