If you could start your life over, would you?

My initial thought is – starting life over has already happened a time or two which is then followed by well we’re probably talking from birth and I had to sit with that question for a minute.

I’ve had a lot of difficult moments, hardships, and times of surviving in the chaos that I could have done without. I would have liked to have been raised by loving parents, have a circle of friends, and not feel like I’m the weird one and the outsider. I would have liked to have waited to have kids have a stable relationship and marriage, my son not be born with a potentially fatal rare genetic disorder, and have friends that want to hang out. I would be lying if I didn’t want that at one point in my life.

And keeping everything in mind that I have lived through and overcome, no I would not want to start over. I don’t wish for anyone to grow up in foster care but it’s taught me a lot of things that have come in handy, such as the willingness to take risks, deal with a lot of unknown moments and trust myself in the decisions I make.

Being an immigrant was a choice – but it’s a risk I was willing to take – but at 18 I didn’t look at the whole picture or the potential consequences, I just did. In some way deep down, I knew I was running away but I also didn’t have anyone keeping me there. Now that some 30 years have passed I don’t know that I could do that again.

Becoming a parent, while at times I was conflicted about it all, I don’t regret my children. They turned out okay and I did the best job I could with the knowledge and intuition that guided me. I mean sure, it would have been nice to raise them with their father but my partner stepped in when we got together and that ended up being a blessing in many ways. I also could have done without one of my sons being born with a potentially fatal rare genetic disorder and undergoing multiple liver transplants and almost dying despite all that was done.

And despite all of it, I wouldn’t be starting my life over given the choice. The experiences I’ve had while painful at times as well as life-altering guided me. Up until my later 20s, I blamed everyone for the crappy life I had and then a shift happened and I recognized that anything after I was in my teens, was on me. Granted my brain wasn’t really prepared and developed for all of the adult things that occurred during that time, but I do bear the responsibility for some of my actions.

The internal work I’ve been doing since my late 20s guided me into mending some of the cracked pieces. And, that is part of this life journey that starting over wouldn’t bring me.

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