This prompt was chosen as my last homework assignment for this five-week creative writing workshop (damn, it went by fast). I don't generally write "essay-type" pieces for class but thought this one might be worth sharing. Enjoy!
So, looking at these prompts, the obvious first choice for me was “The Mistake”. Lord knows, I've made many. TONS. But, that isn't where I'm going today. First of all, mistakes can often be considered “happy accidents” in the long run. If everything in my life hadn't happened exactly the way it did, where would I be right now? Better off in some ways? Wealthy, living in my own home, a mother? Perhaps. But would those things, deemed “successes” by who the fuck knows, really be what is best for me? I try, more each day, to live in gratitude. Gratitude for what I have and gratitude for who I am. I am relatively healthy. My limbs all function properly, as do my senses. My heart is big and it is whole and it is filled with love for others and the love they so freely give to me, even when I feel unworthy of it. I have a wonderful husband and mother, two amazing pussycats, countless friends who are truly here for me in times of struggle as well as triumph. I may not have all the material things I wish for. I certainly don't have the peace of mind I strive for every day. But, overall, things could be FAR worse and sometimes, that just has to be enough. So no more reliving so-called “mistakes”. It is harmful and ultimately, pointless. What's done is done and all I or anyone else can do is move forward from here with a clear head, open eyes and a loving heart. One day at a time does not just apply to alcoholics, it applies to all in recovery from whatever one's particular struggle may be. Mine happens to be depression. What's yours? Think about it. Embrace the mantra. You don't have to be all things to all people at all times. You only have to be the best possible version of yourself as often as you can. Sounds a little less daunting now, doesn't it?
This essay wasn't meant to be about imparting lessons. Hell, who am I to give anyone advice? You know what, I am me. I am just as worthy of advice-giving as anyone else. And ultimately, as always, I'm writing this mostly to myself. I don't even like the word “mistake”. I'm going to do my best to strike it from my vocabulary. Blaming others and especially blaming oneself really doesn't get one anywhere. Life is entirely too short. So that's it, no more mistakes. Happy accidents. My perspective is constantly changing but the moral of this story is that I no longer wish to live in a world of finger-pointing and blame. Love is where it's at. Love for others and love for myself. And trust me, that has made all the difference.