Stop Focusing On the "What Ifs?" In Life

Stop Focusing On the "What Ifs?" In Life

We spend so much of our time replaying scenarios from our lives and asking ourselves "What if?"

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I often find my attention shifting from a task at hand, to a scenario that usually didn't go in my favor. I start playing it over and over again thinking about everything I did that led to the end result of the situation. I start to insert "what if" into the scenario and immediately start to doubt every decision I have made.

Spending your time focusing on the "what if" scenarios are only going to cause you more pain. These "what if" scenarios are never going to come true and the end result of your actions has already taken place, so instead of fantasizing about apologizing, dating/not dating someone, or changing a defining moment in your life, start focusing on how to grow from your life experiences.

I spent years wishing I had apologized to my Father before he passed away. This was one of my biggest "what if" scenarios. "What if I had apologized to my Dad and we had become closer before he passed?" "What if he hadn't passed away? Would we be close now?" It was hard not to become wrapped up in questions like those and imagine how my life would have turned out had I done one thing differently.

A big one from females after they experience a break up is "What if I had never dated him?" "What if I had never met him?" The idea of having never met the person who caused you pain does sound ideal but think five to ten years from now when you do ultimately meet the right person. You realize what you want from a relationship by experience and pain. I know this is true of myself. I have learned from every relationship I have had. Whether it be a romantic relationship or a friendship, a lot of times these end and taking a step back to realize that the experience you are having right now will only aid you in your future.This is going to be the most beneficial thing you can do.

Growth is something that takes time and being determined to let yourself grow from all of your experiences is necessary. Most people choose to only take the good in their life, focus on it, and grow from there. Using your low points as a lesson will help you grow the most. "What if my dad was still here"? Well, I wouldn't be as compassionate, independent, and strong as I am today. I have to look at my growth from the moments in life that have knocked me down. I've realized that putting this into practice in my life has caused me to own up to my mistakes and pray that I can only do better in the future.

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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.

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Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.

Sincerely,

A girl who is sad to go

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When Was The Last Time You Were Alive?

If you can't post it for everyone to see, was it truly a remarkable moment?

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Being alive is an essentially effortless act.

In theory, as long as you're eating food, drinking water, and performing as a human, assuming no major health conditions, most of us are living.

The tragedy I see most often is so very few of us are alive.

Now, I'm not suggesting you drop your textbooks and sprint up a mountain, or go broke trying to find yourself in new activities and events.

That's the illusion pressed onto so many of us. Social Media, more importantly, FOMO, has taught us that in order to truly be alive we need to make sure we travel far and wide, eat gourmet and unique food, and essentially, immerse ourselves in something phenomenal. However, regardless of what you do- don't do it without an audience and the value of your experience will only be justified by the number of likes you accrue on your #bestvacation ever because you #lovenature. With your back to the camera and wispy hair flowing in the beach air, you hit all of your angles, how else will you prove that you're alive to Instagram?

I fell for this too. I spent so much of my life constantly trying to get to the next phase life had to offer. High school was fun, but I was counting the days until graduation. Growing up in a small hometown wasn't awful, but I had sticky note calendars until my next vacation. And day in and day out, events would happen all around me that were just too "normal." I wasn't alive, but I was living.

Setting your soul on fire and truly living is so much more difficult than you could ever expect, but not because you have to drain savings and take along a buddy to snap all the perfect moments.

Choosing to be alive is realizing how important it is to be in this moment or phase in life and accepting it for all its worth. Instead of racing to the finish line or trying to sprint into your next season of assumed happiness, take time to notice all the beautiful and small things that make this moment so important. There is so much life to be found in simple moments.

Semesters are ending, we are all racing to summer. Perhaps in the process, take note of the routine cafeteria worker that constantly smiles at you and says hello. Or perhaps, giggle at the fact that in just a few short weeks that bus driver you see every single morning won't be apart of your morning routine.

The farther I get from what used to be my normal, the more I miss that season of life. I haven't lived in my hometown since I was eighteen, but I miss the simplicity that came with my drives to high school listening to Kanye West and the coziness of a small town opening its doors to start a new day. I never stopped to be alive in those moments, I was just simply living.

Wherever your next phase of life might be, it will always be there. You will always have something else coming. However, once this moment is gone. It's truly gone. Don't waste beautiful views trying to capture just the right picture for Instagram, take in the moment.

Living and experiencing life can be as simple as trusting that you're exactly where you need to be in life. Cherish each moment as you're in it. The next moment is coming whether you're ready or not.

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