Photo of mental health blogger, Blair Nicole

What Might Have Been

I’ve never been one to ruminate about ‘what might have been’. I’ve always found it to be a fruitless exercise and a waste of time. 

Focusing on things I can’t change has never been my cup of tea, unless of course I need to look at them in order to ‘fix’ something.

Yeah, I’m definitely more of a ‘fix it’ type. 

Insurmountable hurdle? I’ll find a way around it.

Lions, and tigers, and bears? I’ll fight them too…And win. 

So, I found it very curious during my meditation earlier today to recognize a part of me that’s carrying around a lot of anger and resentment about things that ‘might have been’….

“How much further along in my career would I be today if I didn’t have so many roadblocks? If there hadn’t been so many people who have stood in my way?”

“What would my life look like today if I didn’t have so much trauma and loss in my life?”

“Where would I be today if I hadn’t had to face so many of these hurdles alone?”

I’ve always identified myself more as a victor than a victim, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that I never let myself dwell on these questions for too long. 

But it did catch me off guard for a moment. 

I’ve spent the last 5 years of my life tirelessly dedicated to therapy, self awareness, and personal growth, and this is the first time this line of ‘what if’ thinking has really come up… 

How many layers are there to this damn onion!?

Then, after I thought about it for a moment, that made sense too…

For the past 5 years, despite our best efforts, things have still been a rollercoaster ride in my home. The breaks from chaos and turmoil have never lasted long. 

Recently, however,  things have become more stable and harmonious. The irony is, in that stability I’ve been afforded the space to look at these deep-seated feelings in a way I’ve never truly been able to…

I’ve never truly allowed myself the space to acknowledge just how much sh*t I’ve been carrying around for other people. 

I’ve never truly allowed myself to acknowledge how many hurdles I’ve had to face alone. 

And, I’ve never truly allowed myself to acknowledge that maybe my road has been pretty f*cking difficult. 

This awareness feels validating and empowering…and weird.

There’s a part of me that wants to over-explain and defend myself.

“I should be happy with what I have; other people’s traumas may be worse, after all” 

(*Eye roll* I know better than to compare trauma, but society still doesn’t).

The interesting thing is, I AM glad for the adversity I’ve faced, and I DO believe I’m stronger for it. But, apparently a part of me is also really resentful, and that’s okay too. 

When I was in 8th and 9th grade and didn’t have a friend in the world (which is a story for another day), I ‘fixed’ it, by trading lunch time for an extra study hall. It served the dual purpose of reducing my bullying, and also giving me time to do extra credit homework so I could get straight A’s.

I overcame the obstacle of being tormented and socially ostracized by focusing hard on my future; focusing on my future made my present a lot more tolerable. 

When I got pregnant with Dominic, and was grappling with becoming a single mom during a time when my life was already hard, I figured that out too.

I got pregnant not long after both my step dad and best friend had passed away, and my mom had come to live with me because she had lost her own house and job in the process. I had no idea how to help my mother, or myself, let alone this baby I had on the way…But I refused to give up. 

I lost my house and my car in the process, but I used it as an opportunity to build a business from the ground up, all while sleeping in a twin-sized racecar bed at my dad’s as a pregnant woman. 

That business has since become a six-figure business that’s afforded me the luxury of being able to travel the world, and get featured in publications like Forbes and Entrepreneur. So, I guess we could say my resilience paid off. 

Then, when I had to cancel my fully paid for dream wedding in NYC two weeks before the wedding date because Garrett had attempted suicide, it should come as no surprise, that I found my way through that too. 

I got busy canceling the wedding, finding him an inpatient care center, and then putting myself through 5 hours per week of intense trauma therapy while he was away. I turned myself inside out trying to get over that damn wall, and here I am still kicking. Checkmate. 

Resilience and ultra-indepence have become my superpowers, and I truly am proud of myself for being able to turn a never-ending supply of lemons into lemonade.

But, f*ck, there is a part of me that also feels a profound sense of disappointment and resentment that I haven’t gotten further…

A part of me that wonders where I would be if things hadn’t been so hard; if my progress hadn’t been so impeded, so many times. 

I’ll never know the answer to those “what if’s”, and that’s okay. 

 I suppose you could say I’m going to ‘fix’ this situation too – by feeling my way through it, and allowing myself the support I’ve lacked along the way. 

The truth is, I am resilient, I am empowered, and I am a victor. 

But, I’ve also been a victim, and suddenly it feels really important to acknowledge that. 

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