I've been thinking about my past choices a lot lately. More my professional, work-related choices, as that is the are in my life right now that I'm not content with.
As I've talked about in previous posts, I've had many different jobs over the past 22 years I have been working. While on one hand I am proud of all the experiences I've had, and everything I've learned... on the other hand I regret not sticking with things longer.
I know, it's a Catch-22. Can't have both.
I've always followed my heart. So I guess there's no shame in that. So why now, looking back, do I question my decision to leave various jobs?
The why is simple. It's easy to look back and see only the good, forgetting the bad. Take that, add it to the fact that professionally I am so far from where I thought I'd be at the age of 37, and you end up second-guessing.
I started out as a teacher. That's what my college degree is in. I did it only for two and a half years and "knew." It wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. So I left my "perfectly fine" teaching job in pursuit of something that made me happier. What it was...I didn't even know. All I did know was I didn't like my job.
Flash forward 12 years and I wish I had tried harder at that job. I wish I had stuck with it. I wish I had liked it more.
But I didn't. It's easy to look back and think "I wish..." "I wish things could have been different." Whether you're talking about a former job or relationship, it's the same.
This reminds me of a Tut.com quote "from the Universe:"
"While it's often fashionable to dwell upon what might have been, what's usually overlooked is that really and truly, it couldn't have.
Because, invariably, any romanticized versions of how things 'might have been,' are based upon fictionalized versions of the past."
Ok. So things "couldn't" have worked out any differently. When I think how I wish I had stuck with teaching, I see the good parts of the job. The students I reached. The summers and holidays off (paid)! I know, in my heart of hearts, I could not have stuck with it any longer than I did.
What is the root of regrets? Being discontent with the now. We wouldn't regret something from the past if we are perfectly content and happy in our current state.
And the fact is, I am not content with my current professional state. Things have not worked out like I expected. I am not where I want to be.
Does that mean things won't work out? That I won't be where I want to be at some point? No! And that's the key.
Everything is a step towards where we are ultimately meant to be.
Twelve years ago I knew I had to leave my teaching job. After leaving that job, I worked part-time and went back to school to learn American Sign Language. That would not have happened if I hadn't left the teaching job. A few years later, I left my job as an ASL interpreter (which yes, I also regret). I left that job to write my first novel. I would not have written all the novels I have had I not left that job.
Each job (or relationship, or whatever your steps are) is a step towards where we are meant to be next.