We have an idiom in France. With « if’s » we could put Paris in a bottle. Right on. What if I had done this, what if I had done that. If’s put in question your entire life when you spend your time thinking about them. There probably are many « if’s » in my life. If I had done things differently, even a tiny little thing, I would not be who and where I am right now. And to be honest, I am pretty happy with what I have. Still, there would still be a few things i’d change if I could go back in time.
If I could go back in time, I would…
…tell my math professor from high school that having opinions is great, it’s even encouraged. Although, using those opinions to justify making fun of a student is not. I do get that not everyone will like my fashion style and just as much, I won’t like everyone’s. However, bullying me in front of the entire classroom for wearing heels, was humiliating, reductive and purely mean. Worst of all, as a figure of authority, he made it legitimate to bully me, which of course, many of my classmates delighted in doing. So if I could go back in time, I would confront him the day it happened, tell him that he abused his position of power and contributed to destroying my self-confidence, which took me years to rebuild.
…tell a friend of mine how sorry I am for the way I behaved when he needed my support. Something terrible happened to him and instead of listening and helping, I dismissed him. I did not take him seriously and made it sound like what he had experienced was nothing. Worst, I used it against him on one occasion. Back then, I did not realize how pathetic and bad my behavior was. I was no better than all those persons I criticize for the same behavior today. So if I could go back in time, I would be here for him, supportive and listening. Today, I would tell him how deeply sorry I am and that if he needs to talk even after all this time, I am here.
…tell people my side of the story. I am who I am with as many flaws as you can have. One of the worst being that I never defend myself when I am attacked. I stay coldly silent and listen until the end. But I never stand up for myself. Even when I have not done anything wrong, even when I have no idea what’s going on, even when I feel like something is off, even when me staying quiet will have a significant impact on my future. So if I could go back in time, I would stand up for myself, tell my side of the story, make my voice be heard so that at least I know I’d done everything I could to change things and not stayed passive.
But I can’t go back in time so now it’s my responsibility to stand for myself, stand against an injustice when I see it and apologize to the persons I have hurt.
What about you? If you could go back in time, would you? Is there anything you would change? Or is there anything you want to change in the future?
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