Why Listening to Your Gut is the Way to Go
I’ve always been an impulsive person.
My sisters still tease me about the day I texted them all about my boyfriend (in high school) and said, “Guys, I need to break up with him STAT!” Most likely, the day before I was naming our future kids. I just woke up one day, realized that he really wasn’t the one and that I shouldn’t waste my time or his, and broke up with him.
(if you know me then you’ve definitely heard me say this:)
My motto: Pull off that band aid. FAST!
It might hurt A LOT, but it’s sure as hell better than pulling it off slowly, taking hair and skin and time in the process. Just pull the damn thing off. Get it over with. It only hurts for like a split second, I promise. Listen to what your gut is telling you. It’s the strongest instinct we have and we were given instinct for a reason.
I listened to my gut:
-when it came to a boyfriend in high school.
-when it told me that I was not meant to teach, but I was meant to write.(def. more blogs about that…yikes)
-when I bought that awesome scarf at Forever21.
-when I added more butter to the recipe and it turned out to be even tastier….
-when it told me that Greg was the one to marry.
-when I quit my first job, and then was asked to work at the same bakery as my sister.
And again when I chopped off all of my hair AND dyed it for the first time ever (you got me, that wasn’t such a great success story, but still… I got past it. It was okay in the end. It grew back.)
You get the picture. I’ve lived a life of hardly planning for a thing. When something pops up on my road, I decide whether or not to take it. I decide quickly, too.
I may not have tons of money. (yet)
I may not have a job with benefits or retirement plan. (which I NEVER will, if I can help it… and I’m sure as hell happy this way, so it’s all gooood) (also, I quit the bakery in order to become a chocolatier -watch the product video!-… and that was also an impulsive decision!!)
I may have a touch of guilt when it comes to that boy I broke up with
because he cried more than I did for no good reason. (but I think we are both happy today- I know I am)
I wake up every day to an existence that I chose and that I’m okay with…that I LOVE, actually…with this guy:
I’ve learned from many a mistake, and that’s okay, too
BUT I DON’T REGRET VERY MUCH.
Where does this fit in with writing or reading or anything, really? Well, I guess it comes back to characters again. Think of your favorite character of all time. It can be from a movie, book, tv show, comic strip… anything! (of course, mine is Owen in A Prayer for Owen Meany!) I’m guessing he or she had some sort of life struggle that they went through. I’m guessing something happened in their life that they wound up regretting. Isn’t it an inevitable part of the growing up process?
The thing we can control is how we respond to that regret and how long we let it last. I’m not saying I don’t have guilt. I keep that guilt tucked away until it comes out at the worst times, actually. But at the end of the day, I think that feeling of regret is even worse. Guilt can come along even when you know you did the right thing. Regret often comes from a time when you know you did the wrong thing.
Regret and guilt are often what propels a character forward.
Where would Hester be without the mistake that changed her entire life? The one that led to a daughter and a willpower stronger than she knew? (The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne)
Where would Captain Ahab be if he didn’t regret the day he let the whale get the better of him? (Moby Dick by Herman Melville)
And where, oh where, would Rachel be if she hadn’t made a huge mistake… one that left her feeling guilty for a very long time, but ultimately changed her life for the better? (Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin)
As the main characters in our own lives, it moves our stories along. It’s the mistakes in someone’s life that can really be a part of who they become.
So I hope that if you have any regrets, you are quickly letting them fade.
I hope if you have any guilt, that it passes and your heart is peaceful!
I also hope that if you haven’t read A Prayer for Owen Meany, you so do ASAP!! ;)