If only you could know that growing up means letting go… maybe then you’d grow up by yourself.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the past. And regret.

The thing is, looking back over the course of the last year and a half, there are probably quite a few things I could cringe about if I took the time to stop and really think about them. I’m the first person to say that for a lot of that time, I was a fucking hot mess. It’s not that I didn’t have those moments before–I was definitely the girl who got drunk and fell down, a lot. But when the big break up of 2010 happened, I kind of lost my shit. I mean, it was more then just the getting cheated on and betrayed that sent me off the deep end; my grandmother, and then uncle, passing away certainly didn’t help things. I was drinking too much, partying too hard, and going off into dark corners with boys who didn’t mean anything to me just because I wanted to feel something other then heartbroken. I wanted to feel anything.

What I’m trying to say is I’ve made mistakes. And it would be very easily to dwell on those things, ask myself what the hell I was thinking, cringe and shake my head. But the thing is, they happened. There is no going back, no changing things, no beating myself up. They happened. You can’t change the past, so obsessing too much about it won’t do a damn thing. It’s a hard lesson, and one that I’m still learning. I’m definitely not perfect, nor would I ever claim to be. There are still moments where I sit back, and think: what if? What if Andrew and I were still together? What if my grandmother had never passed away? What if? What if? What if?

Recently, someone told me that sometimes, there are just things you don’t get over. And, for a second, I wondered, what if he’s right… what if this is forever on my mind, haunting me, plaguing me, filling my every moment. What if I spend the rest of my life obsessing about the boy I fell in love with at seventeen, the boy I thought I would marry, the boy who broke me. After all, it’s been a year and a half. Shouldn’t I be over it by now? What if it never happens? What if I never know what it feels like, not only to be loved by someone someday, but to love someone with all my heart. And then all I could think was: No. I won’t let him have that power. I won’t let him mean that much. I won’t let him have that much power. Maybe I’ll be more careful, maybe I won’t fall so easily, maybe I’ll actually be a little jealous. But I won’t always be broken.

When it comes to regret, you have two choices. You can concentrate on every little thing, wishing you could have done something different, or you can take those regrets, and use them as learning experiences. Maybe it’s the writer on me, but I would much rather the latter, taking my mistakes, admitting yes, I didn’t always make the right choice, and going forward from there, usually with a story brewing. Because there is no going back, nor would I ever want to. I am who I am, because of my choices. If I had the chance to do that, then I wouldn’t be me. I’d be some other Shannon entirely.

And you know what, I love this version of myself, flaws and all.

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