Today, I turn 35. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking of the past as I set goals for the future. Thinking back to some wonderful memories and some not so wonderful ones, I often think if there is anything I would have changed along the way.
There have been times along this journey where I have questioned my decisions and cursed myself for some of them. I have been frustrated with things that have happened in my life and tried to wish them away. As I turn 35, I realize that all of those things have made me the person I am today.
Every decision, every trial has shaped me, has put me in the spot I am at this moment. Even my cancer diagnosis eight years ago threw me on a new course in life. It made me realize how much I loved the man I married. It opened up a new career path which I truly love. It put me on a course to start my business, to teach people all over the world through my YouTube videos, to mentor students and change lives, to start this blog.
Most people would think, at the very least, I would wish to erase cancer from my history. But even that is so tightly woven into the person I am today that, even though it haunts me, I would not erase it from my life.
I would not erase our debt either. I’m not sure who I would be if we had not had to dig ourselves out of the massive debt we created. Has the journey been less than pleasant at times? Oh hell yeah, but it has also been an amazing experience.
Over the past 17 years, I’ve learned that I am stronger than I ever thought possible.
I quit a good paying job when we had mountains of debt because I put my health first.
I held my bald head high in a room full of business people as I started my accounting firm.
I stood in front of a classroom, scared to death, to share my knowledge and experience with students, some of whom older than I was.
Together, my husband and I have paid off over $155,000 in debt when it would have been easier to just give up and declare bankruptcy.
We stayed together and fought together when many times it would have been easier to just walk away.
As I sit back and reflect on all those moments and wonder how things would be different, I realize that it’s not worth the chance. Even changing one small thing might make everything else completely unrecognizable. It’s just not a chance I would be willing to take.
I am a product of ALL of life’s experiences: the good, the bad, the amazing, and the pretty damn crappy. Here’s to looking back in another 35 years and still being at peace with all those life experiences.