I try to avoid being cynical.  No, it’s true.  If I can avoid it, I usually will.  Unless, of course, we’re talking about Britney Spears or TV being mediocre, and other things of that nature.

And, if nothing else, I try using the “power of positive thinking” to work my will… or make me feel better at the very least.

In all of my 26 years, I have preached my mantra, “No regrets, only lessons learned,” and I believed it 100 percent, otherwise it wouldn’t be my mantra.  However, for the first time in those 26 years of learning lessons and having no regrets, I find myself regretting things I never thought I would.  Because they taught me lessons.

Maybe they were lessons I didn’t need to learn.  Maybe if I had done things a little differently, or changed my attitude at a different time, I wouldn’t have had to experience what things are going on now.  Maybe I didn’t need to go through the pain I feel, because the cost doesn’t seem worth it. 

I had a crappy weekend, that has led to a lot of inner reflection, and a lot of self-doubt, which is something I don’t think I’ve experienced in a long time, if at all.  A lot of lessons learned have turned into regrets, and chilling “what ifs.”  And the lack of control is starting to grate on my nerves.

For those of you who are unaware, my living sitution changed pretty abruptly in April, and things have been very erratic since then.  And it’s been more than a year since my relationship status that prompted that change in living arrangements changed. 

It took me a year to get over my ex-fiance, and for that I am grateful.  I regret not being the person who could have been that person for him, and there was a clear lesson.  And there is nothing I could have done to change the way things played out.  And I wouldn’t want that now anyway.  I’m happy enough with my life in general to realize that he was not my “the one.” 

However, with such a change, not only did I change my life dramatically, but I also changed the life of my cat and my family.  And sometimes it’s difficult to deal with.  I am grateful for my family, and their generosity, but I’m beginning to regret the chain of events that led me to this moment – the moment of self doubt.  Perhaps if I had made a different decision 5 years ago… perhaps if I had thought things through… maybe if I hadn’t done something else… I wouldn’t be where I am.

I am a firm believer that everything you experience, the people you encounter, and the decisions you make shape who you are as a person.  You wouldn’t be the person you are today if you didn’t smoke a cigarrette when you were 12 – just to see.  If you hadn’t taken your parents car without  persmission… if you hadn’t tortured a sibling, or chatted online with a potentiall dangerous stranger… if you hadn’t had sex at 17… you wouldn’t be the person you are today.

And I find those things terrifying.  Because I could have made better decisions.

But I’m trying to be a better the best version of myself that I can.  I’m being more patient with things that are not in my control.  I’m letting people get close to me in ways that I haven’t been able to in many years.  I’m letting myself be open to new possibilities.  I’m actively trying to change bad behaviors and replace them with good ones. 

And in an effort to do those things, I’m participating in this101 in 1001 days.  You’ll find the rules, and my list here and here, which are also located at the top of the page on their own separate pages of this blog.

I’ve been feeling unfulfilled, and unsatisfied, and lonely.  And I have a very strong desire to focus on something other than those things.  I want to be a better person… I want to accomplish things… I want to find satisfaction, and by creating my list is a good start, in my opinion.

I will be keeping a tab on every accomplishment on that list, and documenting each step along the way.  It’s going to be a long road, but I hope to come out the other side a much better version of myself – one who has no regrets.