Dictionary

Retrospect (aka “If Only I Had Known”)

[Noun; ~Pronunciation: /re-truh-spekt/]

  • Definition: Looking back on things, sometimes we are overcome with a feeling of failure. “If only I had known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have made that mistake.” But is making mistakes such a mistake?
“If you could look into the future, would ya?”
– Mika –

Yesterday I visited a friend and we ended up dining out. During dinner we spoke about past boyfriends and other mistakes (heheh), and she said: “If only I had known at the time, that would have saved me a lot of trouble.”

Since then I’ve been thinking: I am sure we have all had that thought at least once in our lives, regarding a bad memory. But what IF we had known back then that what we were doing was a mistake? Would we have acted differently or would we have pushed that knowledge aside and blundered anyway? Would we be the person we are today if we had known what the future was to bring?

Mistakes are made so we learn. If we never fall, how can we learn to get up again? We need our failures to guide us in life, to get to know ourselves. Does this mean it’s fun to make wrong decisions, to mess up? No, but we need it so we can grow.

Looking back at your life in retrospect can leave you with a nasty feeling. We’ve all done things we are not proud of. Sad fact is that life doesn’t come with a pause or a reset button, so we can’t undo what we’ve done. Also, negative thoughts seem to outweigh and push aside the more positive memories. But don’t forget that for every bad decision you’ve made, you’ve probably made two really good ones. At least.

Some posts I read throughout this week have mentioned hardship and how it is an inevitable yet not-so-fun part of life. It’s probably a huge cliché, but I think this is true. If things would always go your way, you wouldn’t grow as a person. Imagine you’ve never ever come across a dark moment in your life and then suddenly you get hit by one. You’ll probably fall down and will struggle to get back up, if you get up at all.

If you keep being beaten down, you learn to become flexible. You’re back on your feet before you know it and because it’s happened more than once, you learn to fight back.

That’s life. It’s an unknown weird kind of balance between really bad moments that teach us to get stronger, and really fun moments that let us unwind.

Because let’s not forget, in retrospect your life isn’t a summing up of all the times you failed at something. It also contains lots of good times, when you laughed so hard your belly and jaws started to hurt, when life made you cry because you were so intensely happy. It also is feeling a positive inner glow when you consciously choose NOT to make the same mistake again.

So no, Mika. I don’t want to look into the future: I want to experience it as it comes, with both good and bad times. And then on one day, when I am looking back at all the stuff I’ve done, the good decisions will hopefully outweigh the bad memories and I’ll be able to say I’ve had the time of my life.

What is your opinion about mistakes? Do you wish you could go back in time to undo them?
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11 thoughts on “Retrospect (aka “If Only I Had Known”)

  1. Sometimes keeping a foot in the past and a foot in the present means you can’t move very well into the future. Being haunted by past mistakes and the like just weighs you down…kind of like the story of Ebenezer Scrooge.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, had I had the foresight to see and avoid the mistakes in the past; I suspect I would have avoided those mistakes only to make different mistakes; but mistakes nevertheless. This was a very thought provoking post–well done Samantha.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a good one, Tony. Most people (me included) would imagine if we could redo some of our past, we’d avoid mistakes as opposed to making other ones in their places. You’re on to something here ;)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember all of my mistakes…but few of my successes. I recall hearing more than one story about pro athletes who report as they get older they think more upon championship games lost than won. Perhaps that’s just the way we all are wired? Life is challenging…and for a lot of people “wins” sometimes are also too few in coming. It also may be that mistakes made leave a bigger impact on one’s life normally – at least it FEELS that way. I probably have made two good decisions for each bad one however. Thanks for offering that Samantha!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think that you are very OCD, but that does not make a person a bad person by any means. You are a lively bright young lady with an interesting lifestyle. You have great ability and a great mind, just stand on your negatives and push them through the ground, concentrate on the positives, you have an excellent mind, keep your heart, Soul, mind, and eyes, up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I admit sometimes my perfectionism gets the better of me, but I try not to let it control my life. Thank you for your kind and motivating words :) I have every intention of making 2017 an even better year than 2016, especially positivity-wise.

      Like

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