IWSG-December 2017

The first Wednesday of the month is IWSG blog hop Wednesday.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

You know the drill. Check us out and sign up here!

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The optional question for this month is- As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

One of the things I’ve tried to do over the last few decades is not dwell on my past. I spent most of my 20’s convinced that the best time of my life had already come and gone. Of course living in the past, wishing, longing, wondering ensures you’ll likely miss out on most of the awesomeness of your current life.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but here it is again. Being 25 was the worst year of my life. I felt stagnant, and very unaccomplished. I was years away from graduating from college, which of course felt years away from being settled in a career. Most of my friends (and my wife) were well ahead of where I was, and I was sure my life were slipping away and there was little I could do to change it. I needed to somehow slow down, gain perspective. So, on my 26th birthday, I told a little lie. If anyone asked how old I was, I said 27. I told that story enough that after a few months, I actually believed I was 27.

It might seem counter productive, pretending to be older, but it had an amazing effect on my mental state. What day or month it was mattered less and less and focusing on the good things in my life became easier. I was 27 for two years, and by the time I turned 28, I was less consumed by regret and anguish over things I could never relive or change.

I’ve tried to hold onto that perspective as I’ve aged. I keep in mind that each choice alters my life, what I do, who I meet, and where I end up. And I usually like where I end up. So as for last year, I am perfectly okay with how everything played out. There isn’t anything I would do differently. Sure, It would be great if I’d written more, been more diligent in searching for an agent, or submitting stories and poetry, but I still have time to do those things. I will try and use this past year as a learning experience, not as a way to punish my lack of action or be too proud of the things I did accomplish. I can always do better, be better.

What a wonderful concept.

 

 

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About Ryan Carty

There are some who call me, Tim?

12 responses to “IWSG-December 2017”

  1. Liesbet says :

    What an amazing mindset, Ryan! Like you, I don’t deal well with regrets and I’m quite happy the way 2017 went, because it did so for the reasons it did. We make our choices based on the information at hand and the options in front of us. Yes, we can always do better, but the pressure of realizing that and feeling bad about it is counter-productive. If we really want something to happen, we will make darn sure it does, right? Here is to a 2018 that goes exactly as we want! 🙂

  2. csheldonblog says :

    wow, I’d of thought you might of opted to be younger, more time to do all the stuff you hadn’t. I hope you kept your wife in it though.

    X

  3. cleemckenzie says :

    I love nostalgia, but like you I try to let the past be just that and move on. Do better is a perfect mantra.

  4. cecelia earl says :

    Agreed! We can always do better, but what’s done is done and we can’t change the past. Dwelling and regretting are not productive ways to move forward. Acceptance and new goals are much more peaceful and conducive to motivation! 🙂

  5. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor says :

    Sometimes, I can’t remember how old I am. Maybe that’s just old age making me forgetful though 🙂

    Looking back at the past is helpful as long as we don’t dwell in it, but instead use the lessons learned to guide us forward.

  6. jmh says :

    What a cool, original way to resolve those feelings of angst.

    And I love that you’re approaching the New Year without regrets. I’m trying my best to do the same.

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