Normally I would say that no one needs a new year for new beginnings. However, this January in particular actually marks a very significant year that has passed. Looking back at where I was last year during this time compared to where I am today, I can hardly believe it. Like most of you I’m sure, there have been times in the past where you can’t believe how much you lowered the standards in how you allowed yourself to be treated – by others, and by yourself.
To give and give and give to someone who gives you hardly anything in return, who will break your heart time and time again, who will take and take and take, is a test to your whole being. I accepted this treatment. I allowed myself to be used all because of someone who I believed was going to change and become worth it, or because of the few, tiny, and rare times that I was only sort of happy with how things were.
Knowing full well that you are not the only girl, you are not the most important, but going along with it all anyways with absolutely no drastic objections, then something is seriously wrong. Something was seriously wrong. When you love someone (or what you think is love), sometimes you just focus on the good you see in them rather than all the hurtful things they’ve put you through. And it took one traumatic night for me to see clearly. One of those moments in life we all have where it seems like not that big a deal at the time, but we will have seemingly everlasting regrets after and traumatic, haunting memories.
I regretted everything because I knew I was ultimately responsible for it all. I was wishing I could go back and respond and react differently, stand up for myself and respect myself when someone wasn’t respecting me. I felt like a dartboard with multiple darts of regret being thrown at me. However, I stumbled upon a wonderful quote soon after that I love, and it really put everything into perspective for me:
Never let old shames keep you spinning in a stagnant sea of regrets. And never, ever let them sink you. Life didn’t show you your mistakes so you could stay stuck in misgivings. It showed you where you went wrong so you might patch your vessel, pick up your lessons like oars, and row yourself down a more trustworthy route to happiness.
I am remembering this quote today when I started to feel old memories returning and haunting me. I absolutely did row myself down a more trustworthy route to happiness, and it guided me right to where I am today – with someone who does so many things for me every day, both small and big, and someone I have shared so many amazing and happy times with. Regrets are not opportunities that have ended, or doors that are locked forever. Perhaps they are keys that open up even bigger doors with even bigger opportunities.
I have never been this happy before after all the things in life I have been through. I am with a person that I know inside and out will make me happy, love me completely, and always be there for me. What better person to have by my side during my next travels, after 3 years of independent travel. I’m so lucky to have found that person I am able to share my biggest passions with, now and always.