Why do we judge our past selves with today’s wisdom? I heard Pastor Furtick talk about this recently and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. With age comes wisdom and growth, so why are we so hard on ourselves for our past choices/mistakes? Of course, we would do things a little different now, because we have more life experience. I used to beat myself up a lot about going to college and letting my school loans pile up. I just assumed that the degree would pay for itself. I didn’t know how hard it would be carrying 6 figure loan debt. I was a little naïve then, but I was young. Just because you’re 18, 19, 20 or 21 doesn’t meant you’re instantly a responsible adult that knows everything. You learn as you go. I can’t judge myself for the mistakes I made as a teen or early twenties. I can’t even judge myself for the mistakes I made in my mid-twenties.
When I was a teen, I remember thinking that I would instantly have it all together when I reach my twenties. Twenties seemed so mature and old to me then. I laugh when I think about it now. I thought twenty-five was the magic age where you instantly have everything together. I will say twenty-five was the age where a lot of things turned around for me, but it still wasn’t how I pictured. I think I compared my life to my parent’s life too much, and I had to realize that our generations are completely different. It seems like everyone was married and at least on their first kid by twenty-five. I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen. It just doesn’t happen as quick as it did. I remember those senior books that we had during our senior year in high school, and in the back, we shared our 10-year life goals. I accomplished half of them, but nothing was in the time frame that I set for myself.
I didn’t get a degree in accounting and I’m not a CFO of a company, which is okay because early on I realized how much I hated accounting. I just chose that major because I heard it was ideal for introverts who like to work alone. I’m also not a mother, and I thought I would have two kids by now. I got married two years later than expected. I got my bachelors and masters later than expected, but I got them and that’s something to be proud of considering my journey. We have to be nicer to ourselves when it comes to our past choices. We don’t know what we know now. So many times, I’ve said I wish I could go back and start over knowing what I know now, but the truth is I can’t. I have to forgive myself for my past mistakes and move on. I’m sure I will make more mistakes and in another 10 years I will look back and get irritated with myself again.😉 It sucks, but that’s the beauty about aging. You learn so much and you recognize things that you didn’t see when you’re younger. If you’re reading this and you’re also struggling with your past mistakes, I hope you will also find it in your heart to forgive yourself. 😊