In a couple of weeks, I’ll be going to see a friend’s final collection for her graduate fashion show in London. A friend I met at uni and a friend I would have been graduating with this summer, had I not attempted to retake year one and had I not left. To be honest, from the moment she invited me and from the moment I purchased my ticket, all that crossed my mind was how proud I was of her for making it through and completing the course, and how excited I was to see what four years of hard work, dedication and perseverance had to say for itself. I know it has a lot to say for itself.
But today, I somehow found myself watching a video that the soon to be graduates had put together in anticipation of this journey’s end. And I couldn’t help but feel a little bit sad. Not envious or jealous, but sad and reflective of the events that had passed.
For a few moments, I was reminded of where I could have been if I was successful in pursuing that dream. I’d be graduating and I would be proving everyone who ever doubted me wrong.
But then I remember how I felt, and how I started to lose hope. And I remember how I couldn’t have fought harder if I tried. How I did make the right choice and staying in that place was no good for me.
And I remember what I learnt. And that is: it never could’ve worked because even when I fought so hard to make it work, it still crumbled before my eyes.
And then, despite the fact that I’ve said all this before, I remind myself of how true the lessons that I have learnt are. I remember that:
I am not a failure
It was ok to let go when I realised that it wasn’t for me
Letting go doesn’t mean that I failed
I am strong
It is so important to stand firm in my choice
I didn’t fail and I didn’t lose but I gained
Everything is ok
I gave it my all and I couldn’t have given anymore if I tried
They are the ones, who didn’t deserve me
Leaving didn’t mean that they won, it meant that I won, because I did not allow them to control my life, my feelings and the choices that I had every right to make
I fought to win, and I did win. It not working led to (and will continue to lead to) much greater things.
So, I take a moment to breathe, and think about how graduating is not the be all and end all, and proving people wrong is not the be all and end all. People will always talk and there will always be someone who thinks less of who you truly are and what you are capable of. I’ve found that what matters is that I am alive and able to tell the tale, alive and able to say: ‘I quit. But I quit for me and I am not a failure, and there are better things to come, better things have come’.
Overcoming is a journey in itself, and it often takes more work than what we originally anticipated. Sometimes we think everything is ok and we’re fine with how things worked out, but the smallest thing can carry us slightly backwards and wondering about what could’ve been, even though we know what could’ve been in nowhere near as great as what has been or as great as what is to come.
So today I’m encouraging myself, and reminding myself that this is a journey. There will be setbacks and sad moments where I wonder about the past. Moments where for a moment, I lose sight of the blessings I’m experiencing and have yet to experience, the blessings I’m experiencing because of those dark days.
Today, first and foremost, I’m praying for myself. I’m praying that God will continue to lead me and fill me up. I’m praying that I never take my eyes off of Him and lose sight of what He has brought me out of and where He is taking me. I pray that in moments like this, I don’t get weighed down with what could have been when I know that what is to come will always, in its entirety, be greater.
And for you friend, today I pray that you too, will never get weighed down by what could’ve been. I pray that God continues to use you in your season of growth, renewal and healing. I pray that you look forward with no regrets and you stand firm in the choice(s) that you made, that have been ordained by God. I pray that you never allow a small moment to dishearten you or to make you feel that the past or what could’ve been is better than what is now.
Love and blessings