Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

on November 4, 2014
Photo courtesy: Idea Go/freedigitalphotos.nt

Photo courtesy: Idea Go/freedigitalphotos.nt

The Sunday School class I attend each week meets in the cafeteria of the junior high school next door. Hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the room is a disco ball, just waiting for those ubiquitous school dances.

Between that disco ball and a recent conversation about someone I knew in high school, I’ve been thinking about my junior high and high school career and how that shaped so much of my life. As a child, I was very shy. And on top of that, I grew up in a military family, so I moved a lot and was always the new kid in school. By the time I reached the 10th grade, I was starting my 11th school. It was tough for me to make friends and because of that, as a high school student, I never dated. I didn’t quite know how to relate to my classmates, especially the boys. Apparently, most of the school population didn’t quite know how to relate to me either. I spent a lot of time alone day dreaming of friends, dates and fun.

I don’t know if much has changed since those days. I’ll admit, I am better at making friends, but the whole boy thing still confounds me.

Anyhow, the real reason I bring this up is because I’ve been pondering the question, if you could go back to another stage of your life with the knowledge you have now, would you?

My most common answer to that question has always been, “No, I really didn’t like that time in my life, why would I want to go back?” But, honestly, if I had known then what I know now, it probably would have been totally different. For instance, I always thought the reason I didn’t have many friends was because I was weird or ugly or too much of something or not enough of something. After the conversation mentioned above, I went back to my high school yearbook and as I read through the comments in the book, I realized the reason things didn’t work the way I wanted them to was because I was too quiet and didn’t know how to reach out to others. They were junior high and high school students just like me, and most didn’t have the social skills to know how to deal with someone like me. It was a simple as that.

Knowing that, if I had a time machine, I could probably go back and change my life. The dreams of Mr. Right and a large family might actually have come to fruition. Heck, I might be President of the United States. The possibilities are endless.

I know—by now you’re thinking, what difference does it make? You can’t go back, you can only go forward. You’re right, you know.

So why even bring this up? As I’ve considered all of this, I’ve come to the realization that even if I went back, it might change some things but, in reality, God has always had a plan for my life. I don’t think my lack of social skills in high school made any difference in His designs.

I believe He had a plan in my singleness until I was 42, so getting married early was never in the cards for me. I’m okay with that. I hate the reason why my singleness was so important in my late 30s and early 40s, but I am so thankful God allowed me to be the one to walk so closely beside my parents during the last years of my mom’s life. It was the hardest and yet most beautiful time of my life. I thank God for choosing me to be there.

The other reason I’ve been thinking about this is because what I know about social skills can change the way I approach the future. It can change my approach to men, dating and life in general, and it can open doors for God to use me in ways I never expected. So, no, I wouldn’t go back and change what has happened, but I will let it change the way I do life now.

What about you? If you could go back to another time in life, would you do it? What knowledge would you take with you?

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