There are times I desperately want a do-over. I just want to turn my wooden pencil around and erase until the paper is fresh and new. But then, even that leaves a trace—an indention between the turquoise lines of the paper that never truly goes away. Even if you ball it up and toss it squarely in the trashcan on your first try.
It took many years before I realized that sometimes those mistakes can be useful, even necessary. How will you know where not to go if you haven’t been there? How do you know what you truly want until you have the opposite?
Sometimes life becomes about looking at these marks, these indentions between the lines, a different way. A new perspective can give an old mistake new strength, new direction, new possibilities.
Of course, this is much easier said than done. We live in a very visual world that seems to create more problems than it solves, if you listen to the variety of media influences. But the world has always had both good people and bad, and most of us falling in between somewhere. Life is a mixture of circumstances, influences, and choices.
Often, when we are young, we make some of the same mistakes. No matter what our caring parents/teachers/etc. tell us from their experience or history in general. No matter what positive quotes or compliments or brilliant advice we receive.
I’ve always felt so different from my peers. Even having an awesome, loving family and childhood. Even when I was in a group of kids that lovingly embraced me just as I was. Even when I met a wonderful man who loves me completely and was blessed with four daughters who think I am awesome. Even when I said “unique” instead of “different.”
That feeling makes me feel sad and alone at times. Although it has been erased many times over, the indention between those turquoise lines is clearly there.
As I started observing the world beyond my own fears, I realized that we are all different. And that is the beautiful thing about life. Embracing the differences and pursuing them instead of trying to shut them away. We are not here to fit in, we are here to navigate circumstances, influences, the life we were given, and to choose to do the most we can with these gifts to make the world a better place.
Circumstances often can’t be changed. Influences can’t be unseen or undone any more than choices we have made in the past.
But you can change how you look at them. The world is a big place, and as wonderful or horrible as you choose to see it. The sun rises each day, and with it come golden hours of opportunity. Opportunities to write over the indentions with all of the wisdom of experience, and then finally be able to turn the page.