The other day I was talking to a friend about her new baby. She was telling me how she felt (as I imagine many new mothers do) like in making the decision to have kids–which she without question wanted to do–she was giving up so many other possibilities. That in choosing to have a child, she was automatically pushing aside countless other options for her life. And how the thought occasionally overwhelmed her.
And I–completely inexperienced when it comes to anything parenting related–told her I’m sure that’s a natural way to feel because humans are constantly worrying about how decisions they make affect their lives, and “what if,” and which doors are closing every second. I maintain it’s innate…or maybe yet another thing we can blame on Eve.
The point is, I was telling her about how we have to just make the decision and move on from there, knowing that of course we’re eliminating all of those other possibilities, but it’s okay because all we have to work with is the present.
If you’ve been following along on my journey to a better brain (which is essentially what I’ve been struggling with for over half a decade), you know this isn’t entirely new for me. I’ve made lots of progress in the “stop sabotaging yourself with negative thinking” arena lately.
But then yesterday, while staring out the window on the way to my parents’ house from the airport, I started thinking about the sorts of things I always do when I return: what am I doing with my life, why did I choose to live so far away from my family, how would things have turned out if I’d made other choices along the way?
Only, before I could even begin to analyze these feelings, I stopped having them. Before I could even tell myself it wasn’t healthy to think about those things because it doesn’t do any good to question past decisions, I had already stopped wondering about them. I automatically pushed inklings of psychologically damaging queries out of my mind.
Which could only mean one thing: I have started to internalize the healthy thinking I’ve been intentionally adopting. Maybe you think that’s not a huge deal, considering the fact that I’ve been using variations of this transformation as “new things” for months now. Maybe you think that’s an accomplishment I shouldn’t be quite so proud of because plenty of people achieve the same outcome every day. But I know that I will no longer be using my healthy thinking milestones as new things for this blog because they are now officially old. My brain isn’t exactly the scary landmine of negativity it has been for so many years. Internally, from the very core, it is healthier, and that is a huge deal.
I’m still not a bright, bubbly person and I never will be. But I am a person who no longer gets bogged down by regrets and pointless questioning of my life’s choices. Of course, this means I have more room in my mind for other pointless thoughts and more time to create crazy theories about other sorts of topics. I’m okay with that. Because if my brain were totally healthy, I wouldn’t be who I am. And at the moment, I sort of like that person. (Let’s not get too excited here; it’s not like I’m about to send myself an Edible Arrangements bouquet or anything–but I’ll definitely consider spending more time around this person and possibly even enjoy the company.)