Nobody is perfect. We’re only human and we all make mistakes. Life is very much a ‘learn-as-you-go’ kinda deal. It would be so much easier if I’d been given a manual at birth telling me what to do and say at every point in my life instead of having to just wing it. I often think that I’d know what the right thing to do is in any given situation. But circumstances can cloud your judgement when you’re actually faced with certain decisions which can alter your life. Especially as an instant gratification kind of person. After 27 years on this planet I’ve learned that there are some lessons in life you can only properly learn the hard way.
Here are a few things that’ve taught me important life lessons. With the power of hindsight, I’m very grateful things have worked out the way they have.
1. Trusted the wrong person
I used to be friends with a particular person, and I thought we’d be friends for a very long time. We became friends after they had fallen out with basically everyone they knew. (Should have been a warning sign, I know). And as I didn’t have many friends myself due to awkward social skills, we became very close very quickly. We’d talk on a daily basis, we worked together, and we spent a lot of time together on our days off. After a while, I was dropped like a sack of shit when they reconnected with one of their ex friends.
Shortly after that they started to undermine me in my job, telling other members of staff that I never did anything, would do important work without me and cause drama if I did the same with even the smallest of jobs, and they had the manipulative power to make themselves look like the victim. After a while it got to the point where I completely dreaded going to work and I couldn’t even stand to be in the same room as them. This taught me an important lesson about knowing when to cut toxic people out of your life. Walking away doesn’t mean you’re not strong. It means you have the strength to know when to walk away for your own sanity.
2. Stayed in a toxic relationship
Haven’t we all though? I feel like most people will be able to relate to this as it seems like everyone has a horrible ex story. You know the one where they make you feel so shit about yourself on a daily basis? They’ve manipulated you into believing that you should think yourself lucky to have them, because nobody else would want you. You try to leave but because you’re miserable both with and without them, you go back time and time again. This taught me to have more self-respect for myself, and to not take shit from people and stand up for myself more.
3. Judged someone by what others were saying about them
At my old job, there was a time when we had an influx of new staff in our department. The friend in point number 1 was basically the ringleader in a witch hunt against one of them. They would often say really horrible, nasty things about them without actually taking the time to get to know them. And because I was friends with them I believed everything they were saying, because why would they lie? Turns out, the person they were talking shit about is now one of my best friends and is just the most awesome person.
4. Gave up my job with nothing else to go to
When the work situation got so bad, I felt like I had no other choice than to leave for my own health. It was scary because I had bills to pay and nothing else to go to. But my husband told me he didn’t want me going back to that place so that was that. In hindsight it was the best thing I could have ever done. I know that even if the main issue at work had been resolved, the management still would have found other ways to make our lives hell. I knew that if I had stayed, I still would’ve been miserable in the long run. Sometimes you just need to make that leap of faith, because everything finds a way of working out in the end.
5. Not going to university when I left college
I wouldn’t really categorise this as a mistake per se, but it was definitely going against the grain of what most people my age were doing at that time. When I was 18 most people I knew did go to university. Whereas now that I’m 27, the majority of the people I know actually didn’t go to university. At the time I just didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I felt like I didn’t really excel in anything enough to want to study it further and get myself into debt. I feel like it’s crazy that at 17 you aren’t old enough to vote or buy alcohol, yet you have to make a decision on what to study at uni that will affect the rest of your life.
Sometimes I do think about going back now, and when the Labour party talked about scrapping tuition fees in their most recent manifesto I got really excited about the thought of going back into education. But, back when everyone else was going to university there just wasn’t anything I wanted to do. So I don’t feel like it would have been the right decision for me personally.
Can you relate to any of these? What are some life mistakes you’re glad you made?