If I Knew Then What I Know Now

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

That statement is easily one of my least favorite quotes of all time.
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How often does that phrase come up when speaking with older, more experienced individuals? That simple statement carries a lot of weight and meaning. I'm never one to enjoy "if only" statements or other statements of regret. I guess what bothers me most about the phrase "if I knew then what I know now", is the fact that we will all go through that stage of regretting our not knowing. And despite the amount of times we have heard that phrase, we most likely won't take heed of it.

I recently completed a project on the topic of transformations. I set out to interview over twenty people between the ages of four and fifty-five. I asked each participant the same set of questions:

1. How do you define a transformation?

2. What transformations have you gone through?

3. What things provoke transformations?

4. What qualifies something as a transformation?

5. What career path are you currently pursuing/wish to pursue in the future?

6. How will your future career transform you and others around you?

Nearly everyone that I interviewed mentioned something. After being asked about a transformation that they had gone through, everyone mentioned how their experience would have been vastly different if only they had know something then that they know now.

Cover Image Credit: Hadassah Rivera

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Thanking the People I Could Never Thank Enough

Never forget to thank the most slaytastic people in your life.
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This week, I went through the experience of a nervous breakdown. Stress that had built up from the previous week built up, and I ultimately succumbed to it. What I did realize in the midst of it, though, was that I have some pretty amazing people who love me. For that, I am eternally grateful, and I wanted to show them just how much they mean to me with this article.

Thank you to the people who never once questioned me.

This week, I questioned myself a lot. My innermost workings consisted of "what could I have done better in (insert here)?" But it was in the people that I surrounded myself with that never questioned who I was or what I did. It gave me a glimmer of hope in the midst of the darkness.

Thank you to the people who had my back.

I know that I can be a lot to handle at points. But there are people who have stood by me and never once said that I was too much. In this time, they were essential for being the light that got me out of my own long tunnel. As humans, we don't exactly know why people come into our lives or for what reason, just that they do. It makes me incredibly happy to have the people that saw beyond the outside mess and were willing to still love me.

Thank you to the people who intervened and got me help when I needed it.

I didn't know it when I was in the situation, but my breaking down was a desperate cry for help. I know now that the people who did this care so deeply about me. I am fortunate enough to have those friends that pulled me aside and said they would get me the help I needed.

Thank you to my haters for being my motivators.

Only kidding, just figured the people reading this would need a break in the sappiness.

Thank you for those who did not judge me when I was a mess.

I only saw myself in the mirror once over the course of my stress induced meltdown. However, when I did look in the mirror, I saw what a hot mess I really was. For those who did not judge me, I am so forever grateful. You built me up in moments when I felt low, and I cannot thank you enough for doing that. I am so lucky to have the friends that I do.

Thank you to the people who encouraged me to take part in some much needed self care.

In this day and age, it is so essential to do things because you like to do them. For me, my self care involves watching Gilmore Girls, painting, and sitting at the piano and just playing. When I do these things, the world around me becomes less intimidating.

There is so much more I could say, but it would take more than an Odyssey article to do so. I love you all.

Cover Image Credit: wallpaper.com

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A Letter To The Mean Girls In High School

You're not as cool as you thought
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Dear mean girls from high school,

How are you? I hope you're well, but not that well. I'm writing this letter to tell you a few things.

We spent our days passing in the high school hallways, sitting in class together, and sitting near each other at the long, dirty, sticky lunch tables. You used to be my friends. Little did I know you were the complete opposite. It's funny how the people you think you're closest to are the ones who are actually your arch enemies. I know this now, and I thank you for teaching me how to spot your breed in college, because now I can avoid wasting time on people like you.

Luckily, you didn't make high school all that bad for me. You just helped me find my lifelong friends. I hope you found people like yourself at college, and have realized that talking about people and spreading rumors is actually not that cool. You can't even put it on your resume so what's the point? It's even more funny to look back at this now, because their way of life is totally changed once you get to college. It's every mean girl's worst nightmare. There's no friend group that's more popular than the other, and people don't have time to waste on trying to impress you to make you like them. People like you fed off of that feeling in high school, and now you're starving, because no one's going for that kind of bait anymore.

I can't sit with you? NO problem.

In reality, no one is better than anyone else, and that is something I learned as soon as I walked up to get my diploma in that cap and gown, and I hope you guys have learned that by now too.

You don't like my outfit?

My hair is curled badly?

Well, you've just waisted some precious oxygen and time by saying that, and have also waisted some brain power by even bothering to think it because quite frankly, I don't care.

I am a firm believer in what is called Karma, and that right there is what helped me laugh off the whispers I constantly saw, or the conversations I overheard discussing your plans for the weekend, which by the way, didn't involve anything exciting. I can guarantee those snapchat stories you put up made it look more fun than it seemed. I've been a part of it before, and your type of friend group does not know what fun is.


It's always hard to criticize the mean girls, because hey, they're perfect right? Kidding. It's hard to criticize you because no one really knows what's going on at home, or behind the scenes. Most girls like you cause problems, start rumors, and fail to make others feel comfortable in their own school environment is because of your own insecurities, and I'm sorry about that, but please stop making us confident people feel otherwise.

I hope now that you have experienced a bigger college environment and have realized that it's not always going to be you standing over a high school of 500. In the real world, not everyone is going to know you by name, and not everyone is going to go out of their way to say hi to you in passing. Because in reality, no one wants to waste their time on people who don't really care about them. I know I don't.

Well, it's been nice. See ya never, from yours truly,

Devyn

Cover Image Credit: msmojo

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