Remembering Lessons of the Past

In My Humble Opinion

While shopping in the home decor store, At Home, today, I ran across some of my favorite self reflection journals and note pads created by Knock Knock. I love these products because they feel like an outward expression of my mind as they are snarky, insightful, and truthful. While there are many that I’ve purchased as gifts, including “I’m Totally Awesome” and “I Totally Got This”, today I was drawn to the journal titled “In My Humble Opinion”. The cover describes it as “a journal to vent about why people are like that…” and it made me think about the many times I’ve had this same thought about people in the past.

My Godmother used to tell me that just as life uses experiences to teach you lessons, there will be people who enter and exit your life with the same purpose. When reflecting on my personal and professional career I am often reminded of the people who had a tremendous impact on my development and saw something in me I didn’t see in myself. These people have modeled the way, provided me with examples of who I could become, and allowed me to be my most authentic self, even when I wasn’t at my best.

However, I acknowledge that I don’t give enough attention to the people who have not not been in my corner and caused me great stress. These people, while trying on my patience, have provided me with lots of great lessons about life and my potential. So in their honor, I thought I’d share some of those great lessons:

  1. It’s not you, it’s me. Each of us goes through different chapters of life and while we may have been in perfect balance with someone for a time, it is common for this balance to become disrupted. Sometimes the things we appreciated about someone are the same things that now disrupt the balance and result in us leaving them in our past.
  2. Age is definitely more than a number. Let’s just be honest, ageism is a real thing. Whether someone is bothered by your advancements in life or lack thereof, there are many people who have opinions about what you’re capable of and the direction you’re headed. Regardless, be reminded that the story of your life was made for you and your responsibility in life is to blow your own mind, not theirs.
  3. With time, you’ll realize you’re wrong. The crazy thing about memories and maturity is that you can remember exactly what you felt like in a moment from the past, but still feel an overwhelming sense of regret in the present. With time there are some instances where you realize you were wrong, or you made the wrong decision, and you have to determine whether or not you need to make amends or let the past remain.
  4. Sometimes you’re wrong about people. It’s a terrible feeling when you realize that someone you respect or admire is not the person you thought they were, but it is important to remember that you may be responsible for that perception of them. Our reality is often influenced by our perception and if you inflate your perception of someone, unfortunately the reality may become inflated as well. Rather than focus on them, reflect on whether or not your actions and words are aligned so you aren’t guilty of the same thing.
  5. There are some terrible people out there. In general, I believe that people have good intentions, but even I can admit that I’ve meet some people who challenged that mindset. Regardless, we each have to remember to choose good over bad, high over low, and kindness over spite. People are who they are and when it seems there is nothing else to learn, do your best to ensure you never give people the worst of yourself.

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