Living In The Past

I constantly struggle with living in the past. I am constantly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stupid stuff that I have done. I have the unfortunate habit of thinking about my past mistakes. I dwell, fret, worry, etc etc… Even though I know I can’t change anything about what has happened.

I can’t change it. It’s done. Boom. That’s it. Nothing I can do about it.

So why does my past bother me so much? Why can’t I just accept what has happened and move on?

First off to blame is probably my personality. I am EXTREMELY Type A. So, not only does that mean that I’m super annoying all the time about everything, but I am critical about every detail of myself, I am competitive (sidenote: I am a terrible sore loser), and I get upset/angry very easily. So when it comes to looking at my past – I am very critical about myself. In my eyes I see what could have happened and I didn’t measure up. I failed. I failed at being a good human being and I made a mistake and I need to be punished for that mistake. Said punishment is always beating myself up about not being good enough (I am pro at this, been doing it since 5th grade -first time I ever got a C on a test). It almost seems like I can never measure up to my own standards of living. I set myself up to fail constantly. Looking at my past is like seeing failures over and over again, when I could have easily done better. But hindsight is always 20/20.

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Secondly, I come from a very competitive family. No, not in sports (though my Dad and sister can play anything and everything and be good at it) but in grades. My family takes immense pride in being smart. I wasn’t popular, or good at sports, or anything really in school. But I was smart. I could hold that over everyone’s head. In school I believed that I was smarter than everyone else (except Stuart, PJ, and Stephen because they were freaking geniuses). I would study my butt off to get straight A’s because in my eyes that was the only thing I was good at. I could memorize any fact, figure, name, speech, anything. I could diagram a sentence in 8 seconds flat. You want all the state and capitals? Done. All the Presidents? Done. All the Vice Presidents? Done. The periodical table? Done. Even in college I was competitive with my grades and GPA. My friends were in different majors than me and I’d still get frustrated if their GPA was higher. Now that I’m not school anymore I feel like I’m not better at anything (except whining, I’m the best at whining, ask any of my friends). If I don’t have anything to be competitive about, than what’s the point? I look at my past and compare it to my friends’ pasts and see that they were better at living than me. They didn’t make as many huge glaringly obvious mistakes as I did. In my mind they win. I suck.

Third to blame is scientists. WHY HAVE YOU NOT INVENTED TIME MACHINES YET SO I CAN GO BACK AND FIX EVERYTHING AND HAVE A PERFECT AND LOVELY LIFE?

Fourth are those people. You know who I’m talking about. They LOVE to bring up the past. They LOVE to relive and rehash their great moments in life and remind me of how I screwed up. They can be my family, or one of my friends (terrible friend) or an enemy (do I really have enemies or just frenemies). They love to remind me about that one time, ya know, remember, that one time when I did that really stupid thing and it had terrible consequences. It makes me cringe just thinking about it. It’s one thing to remember the crap you did on your own, but when other people bring it up it makes it 1,000,000 times worse. (sidenote: YouTuber danisnotonfire has a great video on the “cringe affect” and when you have a “cringe attack”)

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Fifth is myself. I should be first because most of the mistakes I have made are 100% my fault. I could have done better. I could have made different choices. I could have thought more. I could have listened to my friends and family and teachers and peers. I could have caused less pain. I could have fought. I could have faced my fears. But I didn’t. I made mistakes. I made a lot of them. And it’s easy to blame other people for misguiding you, or causing you to make those mistakes. It’s also easy to blame your circumstances, that they made you make those mistakes. You can blame anyone and anything. But it comes down to the truth. And the truth is I screwed up. I made mistakes.

Why can’t I get over my past?

Because I won’t let myself make the same mistakes again.

Things Single People Are Tired Of Hearing

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Or maybe it’s just me who’s tired of hearing these things…

So I am single. I have been single for 2 years now. My last relationship was terrible: he forced me to do things, he would be very rough and harsh with me, he stole my money, and he cheated on me. Due to that experience I have been very hesitant to date again. Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m terrified of dating again. I’m actually really fine with being single. I prefer being alone in all honesty (this is possibly because every relationship I’ve been in has ended very badly).
I have the wonderful blessing (and I mean it truthfully as a blessing) of seeing most of my close friends get engaged, get married, and be in a happy and healthy relationship with their spouse (this is not sarcasm, I really am happy for my friends). But after awhile, it can be very daunting to see that out of all your friends, you and a few others, are the only ones still single. I think something must click in a married friends brain – I’m not entirely sure as I have never been married. Said friend suddenly feels the need to help their single friends become as happy as they are in their married relationship. Because clearly being single is the same thing as being depressed and unhappy.
I can guarantee you that being single DOES NOT equal unhappiness. I am honestly happier now than I have ever been in any relationship I’ve ever had.
Now I really do love my friends and family and appreciate their thoughtfulness when they constantly want to set me up, ask me what’s wrong, tell me to date again – it means that they love me and care about me. But seriously guys, stop. No really, stop. STOP. Just stop. I’m fine. Completely and totally fine.

Please stop doing or saying these things:

Comparing your “relationship problems” to my “single problems” – YES I know that couples have a plethora of problems because they have to coexist with one another on a daily basis. BUT that does not mean that your problems are worse than mine. You need to stop diminishing every single persons problems like they are miniscule to yours. That’s not how the world works. Everyone is equally screwed up and has an equal amount of problems.

“You don’t know pain till you’ve had your heart broken by someone.” – Ummmmm… I have had my heart broken. Twice. And it sucked. Just because I’m single doesn’t mean I’ve NEVER been in a relationship. And even if someone single HAS NEVER been in a dating relationship that doesn’t mean that they’ve never had their heart broken. A person’s heart can break over any relationship, person, circumstance, etc… It is NOT solely based on whether they have had boyfriend or girlfriend.

“Your sister is going to get married before you.” – I am aware of this. You don’t need to remind me. She is smarter, funnier, prettier, skinnier and much much MUCH nicer than I am.

“Make sure you find someone in college, it’s almost impossible to find someone after you graduate.” – Bull crap. This is utter and complete bull crap. College is not the only way to find someone to marry (You will hear this constantly if you go to a religious college). There are THOUSANDS of ways to meet people outside of school. Here a just a few: through your friends, church, community, work, volunteering, parties, parks, restaurants, just walking up to strangers and saying HI…

Please stop assuming that I don’t want to be single. – I currently like being single. Now I can’t speak for everyone, but I like being alone right now. My last few relationships were crap and I don’t feel like diving in again.

“Just be patient the right person will come along.” – Oh good thinking, I almost rushed out and married the first person I saw. Thank goodness you told me to be patient.

Married people, please stop saying you wish you were single. – If you wish you were single, then don’t complain about it, be single. There is this fun little invention called divorce that 50% of married couples do. If you hate your marriage so much then get a divorce, if you don’t then stop complaining about it and do something.

“What is wrong with you?” – A lot of things, just ask my mother.

“Don’t you want to get married?” – I don’t know ok!!!! Maybe!!! It’s not a HUGE priority right now. I really want to wear a fancy dress and have a party all about me. So basically I just want a wedding…

“I don’t get why you are still single, you are smart/good looking/funny/employed/etc..” – I know, I’m shocked too. Men should be flocking to me from all the world. I’m such a catch.

“There are plenty of fish in the sea!” – That’s great, except I don’t want a fish I want a man. This is a stupid saying and I’d love to smack whoever invented it.

“Have you tried internet dating?” – Yes and it was a terrible experience. I know so many people have success stories from it, but lets be real here folks… It’s creepy. I went on a lot of creepy dates last summer from online dating (Christian Mingle) and I met some very creepy, odd, clingy, scary people.

“It’ll happen when you least expect it.” – I’m consistently unobservant of my surroundings, so I actually believe this one. It’s just annoying to hear constantly because than you are trying not to expect the unexpected and that makes the unexpected expected.

“Don’t you ever get lonely?” – Yes. I suffer from crippling loneliness at times. But that is why I have friends.

“Aren’t you worried that you won’t be able to have kids?” – No. I’m not even sure I want kids. If I end up having a desperate need for children, I can adopt as a single parent.

“You’re just too picky!” – I’d rather be alone and too picky, then to settle and end up with a psychopath.

“You’re gonna end up as a crazy cat lady!” – Nope, I don’t like cats that much. I’ll be the fun old dog lady.

“It’s the bouquet toss, you better get out there!” – This happens to me literally, and I mean LITERALLY, at every wedding I go to or I am in. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. And I’ve never caught the bouquet. It is brutal out there during a bouquet toss. And then what happens if I do catch it? Besides possibly being tackled by one of the bridesmaids… Does some mystical wedding magic descend down onto me and make it so that I SHALL BE MARRIED NEXT. Are all available men then notified that I HAVE to be married next and that it is their duty to find me, woo me, and marry me?

“I have someone I’d like you to meet!” – Suuuuure ya do. I’m sure they’re great too. Here’s a rule of thumb for this one, if you yourself wouldn’t date them and marry them, then don’t set your friend up with them.

“You’re not trying hard enough.” – You’re probably right on this one. I’m notoriously lazy when it comes to seeking out potential partners. Totally not a go getter.

“I’M ENGAGED!!!!!!!” – Great. I’m so excited. Can’t wait. What color dress should I wear?