What I know now, that I wish I’d known then…

1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

I use to always feel like I was wasting someone’s time by asking questions. Now, not so much. Speak up and get informed. Your time and knowledge is as valuable as anyone else’s.

2. Cut your expenses and live with in your means.

Debt sucks. Do what you can early, to stay out of it.

3. Time with loved ones, especially those who are sick, is precious.

I never really thought Deirdre would actually pass away. I always believed – whole-heartedly – that she would beat the cancer. Like, I 100% believed that, despite of everything I was told. I think that was my own way of not facing the truth. I couldn’t look at it, so I acted as if things were going to be okay. I only cried in front of her once during all her treatment, other than that I was strong. Or so I thought. I wish I had just seen the situation for what it was and not hid behind the excuses and false realities. It has been four months since she passed, and it haunts me. I miss her so much, I wish I would have faced this all sooner, while she was still here.

4. The bad boys aren’t worth it.

Man, this would have saved me a lot of trouble. I am so glad I’m “passed” that stage. Does every girl go thru this? What a disaster this can be.

5. Your parents love you more than you can imagine.

Even if you don’t believe that they do.

6. And… in addition to that, they are doing the best that they know how to do, given the circumstances, and based on beliefs and habits engraved and taught to them by their parents. We are all victims of victims

7. It’s okay to go home.

Sometimes going back feels like you are actually going backwards. But it’s really all about your perspective. Going home is a fine step to recharge and refuel. Back in the day, I felt like I needed to be away from home to be independent. But going home to be with loved ones during trying times does not make you any less independent and strong. It means that you know where to find strength and are strong enough to admit you need it.

8. There is no weakness in admitting you are afraid.

Before my first fight, I didn’t say anything about my fears until closing end of the camp. I felt like fighters, real fighters, weren’t afraid, because I hadn’t “witnessed” it with any of the guys that I considered warriors, or real fighters. Then, one day I said in passing that I was nervous and afraid. And the fighter I was talking to said, “You should be. We all are.” What a moment of clarity and unity.

9. Balance is a KEY to happiness.

Work with play. Friendships with relationships. Social time with alone time. Balance, balance, balance.

10. Just because you are in love with someone, that will not make them any more ready to love you back.

I learnt this one the hard way.

11. The little people in your life will notice when you are not around, even if you think they are too young to understand.

My nephew Chayse, who was 6 at the time, came up to me last summer at my younger sisters wedding and out of the blue asked me why I moved away so far from him. It broke my heart. I didn’t think he noticed these kinda of things. Hand in hand, we went outside the wedding reception and talked about Aunty being gone, but still being able to visit. When I told his mom, my older sister Jill, that he had came up to me and asked that, she had no clue where it came from or what would have brought it on. The little people notice more than we think. Don’t count them out.

12. Setting daily intentions and managing your thoughts will help you reach your goals.

Control your thoughts, and you can control your life. Finding the positive in daily occurances is always a choice.

13. No one can hurt you unless you allow them to. Take responsibility for how you feel. Don’t blame anyone else.

And when you do take responsibility, don’t ever let someone make you feel that HOW you feel is stupid, or not right. You can’t argue with someone’s feelings. And what you are feeling is valid.

14. Enjoy your body and appreciate it, now.

One day you will look back and miss your young, agile, capable body. No one escapes age. Be grateful for what you’ve got now and all that you can do. And treat your body as though you want to make it last.

15. Don’t become a “we” too early. There is no rush!

And there is certainly no shame in being single.

16. Ease up on the booze.

A lot of the “oh shit, did I really?” moments come when you are way too sauced. Not to mention, it’s hard on your beautiful body. Drink responsibly.

17. Ladies, men are simple. Do not make them complicated.

            Why do we make excuses for men?

18. In fact, if they like you, they will do the work and pursue YOU. Stop chasing them.

19. Take better care of the environment.

Do this with smarter choices in food, in transportation, or with the companies you purchase from. Repeating smart conscious choices will add up.

20. Don’t cash out your RSP for a trip to Disneyland. Or Vegas.

Yes, I really did do this. Both of these.

21. It’s okay to change your mind.

Do this as much as you want! Change is better than being stagnant. There is no rule saying that once you decide on something, that that’s it. Change your mind, and then change it again.

22. Your exes, one day, will make you happy.

These are the people who show you what you want, what you don’t want and what you will or will not settle for. As much as it pains you to go through a break up, these break-ups lead to break thrus…  ah-ha moments where we realize what we want and need for future relationships.

23. To add to that, you don’t have to try to be friends with an ex.

No matter how much you wish them the best, your good intentions could be misunderstood. AND ya know what? Maybe they don’t deserve your friendship, anyhow.

24. The fashions that come “in” won’t always look good on you, and it’s not worth trying to pull the looks off.

Stick with the classics, and avoid cringing when seeing yourself in photos down the road. Just because it’s hot now, doesn’t mean it’s going to be hot on you.

25.  What people think of you really doesn’t matter.

In fact, whatever it is you think they are judging you for, chances are they haven’t given it half as much thought that you believe they have. Besides, even if they are judging you… Who really cares? What they think, say or do says more about them, then it does about you, anyways. Right or wrong, they are entitled to think whatever they want. No amount of stressing over that will change it. Just live for you.

Well, there you have it. Of course there are more lessons I wish I’d known back then… but this is a good place to start. While we can’t go back and change the past, reflecting and then carrying on doesn’t hurt. I may have learnt these lessons a little later than I would have liked, but I still learnt the lesson. And ya know what, I’m doing okay. I mean… here I am, writing about it to you guys. Life isn’t so bad, even with my list of mistakes.

Sending love, hugs and butt slaps

McDooogs xoxo 😀


1 Comment

  1. I would add to this one thing, forgive yourself. We all make mistakes, it’s how we learn. We should acknowledge those mistakes, take what we can from them and move forward leaving the rest behind. Holding onto what we cannot change is not going to do anything good for us.

    I think in your case, in particular you need to make peace with your past as it pertains to Deidre. You can’t go back, you have to let go of the guilt you have over that. I know it’s not easy, but hanging onto it only serves to weigh you down. It’s always much easier to see things after the fact, than when you’re in the moment, remember this. Hindsight is always 20/20. What happened served a purpose, it taught you a lesson, remember it for the future and leave all the guilt over it in the past. She is in a better place, her spirit lives on. And I am sure she’d want you to forgive yourself too and she’d understand how you felt back then, death is never an easy thing. (hugs)

    Just some food for thought.

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