I am lying in a chair, my feet pointed up toward the sky, my back where my butt should go and my hair hanging wildly over the edge. I have felt backwards most of my life, and wild. Not the good kind of wild that most girls claim to be, but the barreling down the tracks nearly out of control kind of wild. I can remember sitting on Jenny’s floor several years ago, tears streaming down my face, wondering why people liked me. How can others like me when I hate myself?
My youth was spent butting heads against walls to see if they would give. A couple tumbled down. Most left me crumpled on the ground. Sometimes I feel as if nothing has changed, save for the wall I am ceaselessly ramming against. I am not that stupid girl anymore though, and I rarely take on a wall unless I am confident it can be toppled. At least, that is what I keep telling myself.
This particular wall is daunting though and today it has me on my back, looking dazedly up at the sky, wondering how I got here. The past drifts close and I am reminded why I hated myself for so long, why I have a hard time trusting myself now. I nearly broke myself all those years ago, when things were supposed to be bright and shiny and the future optimistic. Sometimes the scars are rigid and painful, reminding me how close I came to being irrevocably lost. Yet I would not change the things I did, despite the regret I have for the person I was.
Don’t listen if someone tells you to live with no regrets. Regrets are important. They remind us what not to do and who we once hoped to be. Regrets are an essential part of life. I treasure my regrets for they are part of how I measure who I am now. The mistakes I made turned me into a better person and the hopes I once had for myself remind me of how much I have grown and changed. Sure, I regret, sometimes bitterly, that some of those old dreams will never come to pass. But I have new dreams now, better dreams, and I could not have those if I’d accomplished what I wanted when I was younger.
This skyward view is not permanent. I will get up again, and while I might still be backwards and slightly out of control, I have come to appreciate those parts of me.