In high school, I was on the Mock Trial team and I loved it. I was a lawyer for all four years of my time and lead attorney for the last two. I found I’d enjoyed speaking in front of people, the analysis that came from the legal process, and the chance to spin a story for an audience.
The last day of our last trial, the team adviser came up to me in the hallway of the courthouse. He was an actual attorney in the county, a younger guy, and he shook my hand. He looked at me and said,
“You should really consider law school.”
I laughed. My mind flashed with images of defending criminals and what would happen when I lost? Then it flipped to putting people in jail and what would happen when they were released? Of course time, cost, and effort played into the idea.
In the end, I didn’t go.
That conversation was a crossroad, one of the many we face in life. The idea had been offered. What if I’d taken it and followed? How would life be different? Where would I be a decade into a law career?
Now I have friends who are lawyers and I’ve known others. It’s not all the glamour of the many television shows out there. It can lead to success and burnout, victories and defeat. Was it to be a part of my story that I’d never followed? I’ll never know.
Regret is chasing memories.
Add in traumatic memories and you create a dangerous combination.
A shard of pain can stick like a nail in wood. Addictions swirl into long term substance abuse and manipulation. Emotional and physical abuse. Control. Mental games of chess.
Trauma creates an unbalanced ledger. Our souls respond in kind.
Cancer, for example, can paralyze a person in fear and motivate another to live their best life. An abusive relationship can send one into a spiral of darkness while another may be inspired to take back their life and set up healthy boundaries.
Our lives are filled with mirror moments. We stand in spots where we are called to make a choice, to look at ourselves and see who we really are.
We all see the signs. Some recognize them instantly, some miss, and others will only see them years later. We all need clarity in our lives.
As the year turns and a new decade dawns, I pray you experience this in your life. May 2020 be the best ever. No matter where you are in your journey, I pray for bigger and better things, for fulfillment, for physical and mental health. I pray you are bigger than your emotions and you can stand strong when the waves come.
Spend your energy making memories, not chasing them. You’ll be surprised at what follows.