A question you probably ask yourself on a daily basis without even knowing.
It probably starts off as something simple, what if I got an earlier bus today? What if I’d decided to shower last night instead of rushing around this morning? What if I’d actually gone to bed when I said I would, instead of sitting and scrolling through social media all night? We all ask it, and we all have to live with this sometimes intolerable question bearing down on our minds.
Sometimes, however, the question can relate to something more serious. It could be an exam, an incident at work or a failed relationship. The thoughts of what could be, or should have been buzz through your mind and can become unbearable. The thought of not knowing what could have happened if you’d changed one slight thing about your day on that day where it all went wrong can be too much to bear.
Take myself as an example. There aren’t many moments I can think of that I would want to change, apart from one. My Nan passed away a few years ago and it was one of the hardest times of my life. That is my biggest reason for what ifs.
What if she never passed away back then?
Would she have been proud of me now?
Would we have been just as close, if not closer?
Would I still be feeling how I am, and struggling with my mental health?
What if I’d been by her side?
Would it have helped her?
There are so many ‘what ifs’ going on in my mind thinking about that moment.
However, one thing I’ve come to realise is that things do happen for a reason. Yes, it might not be in the way you expected or even how you wanted, but unfortunately for us all, that’s how life is. Life isn’t meant to be easy, and by using your ‘what ifs’ against you, that’s exactly how life tries to beat us down. It makes us constantly question ourselves, our motives and whether we can actually get through whatever life throws our way. Well it’s about time we all showed life just what we’re made of.
No matter who you are, there will always be at least one ‘what if’ moment in your life, and it could be a major one. Do not let it run your life. Yes, things might have been different. Yes, your life right now might have been ‘better’ than it is now. But you don’t know that for sure. For all you know, your life has now fallen back into the way it was meant to be and the hardships you go through because of that ‘what if’ may be leading you to a much better place. You’ll never know what would have happened if you’d have made a different decision, so why stop your life because of it.
So many people go through their lives and forget to actually LIVE. There will always be questions, there will always be someone questioning what you do with your life, but please don’t do that to yourself. Your life has taken this path now, embrace that with all it’s hardships. You were meant to become the person you are now. The person who is aware that one second can change your life, but the one who embraces that and thrives from it.
You don’t let it drag you down into a pit of despair questioning what could have been, instead you rise up out of the ashes and build yourself into a new you. A version that, had you made another choice, you would never have been. You ignore the constant ‘what ifs’ and you show life that your choices are yours alone. From now on you will be the one to decide what happens.
‘What ifs’ are just questions. They are situations that will never come to be because your path has already begun. They are, and never will be, worthy or real enough to deserve you dwelling on them and ruining your own future. You are you because that’s who you were meant to be, and don’t forget that.
Put the unending questions to the back of your mind and look in the mirror. That’s the person you should be focusing on. What’s done is done and there’s unfortunately no way to change that. But you can change what happens now. You can fight for who you are now, and try your best to make sure that you avoid ‘what ifs’ in the future. You can’t change the past, so maybe it’s time to start moulding your own future, the one you’ve always wanted. Show life what you’re made of.
Stay strong and always keep fighting.
You can do this.