I came to a realization tonight.

I don't care for the theory that nothing and nobody matters in the world, that we are all small and meaningless in the grand scheme of things. I don't want to be told that I am just a speck of dust on the windowsill of the universe. If I feed into that idea, then what's the point of doing anything at all? Why should I bother living if there are going to be no long term effects of what I do? The meaning of life isn't necessarily to leave your mark on the world forever, but to live for yourself and do what makes you happy so that you make the most of the life you've been given. I have one life, one chance, to be here on this earth. I might be meaningless to the universe, but I'm not meaningless to those around me in this life I'm living right now.

I care about how I treat people and try my hardest to make those around me feel better when they're in need. I'm not perfect and I'm not always as kind as I should be, but when it matters I like to think of myself as the kind of person you can talk to about anything, no matter how bad our relationship might have been prior. Everybody needs someone to let them know that they aren't alone in how they feel, to let them know that they're feelings are valid. There is no worse feeling than going through something excruciatingly difficult and realizing that you're in it by yourself. Some people have nobody to turn to and it's sad to see. That person's problems can eat at them and wear them down until they're just a shell of the person they usually are. Everyone needs a support system of some sort and if I can be that to anybody, it makes me feel happy. It makes me feel important to help someone else. If I can tell myself that I helped somebody, it makes me feel like I made a difference, that I matter in this life of mine. If I can improve the perspective of another person and help them cope with their issues, I feel useful.

I've had my fair share of hardships in life. They might not seem as major to people who have gone through worse, but they are still mine and they are still what makes me who I am. I've been sexually abused, I've moved around quite a bit, I've lost loved ones, I never got to know what it's like to have married parents; all of these things have taught me lessons though. Being abused taught me that your body should be reserved for those that you love and they love you back, not for just anyone to put their hands on and treat like a toy. The naked body is honesty in its original form and few people should have the honor of sharing that with you. Moving taught me the significance of short term relationships. I still remember the friendships I had in elementary and middle school, and I haven't even talked to those people in 10+ years. I remember those relationships because they taught me that true friends care about your well being and genuinely want you to be your best. Losing people I loved, both to death and by separation, taught me that once it's gone, there's no getting it back. Life doesn't have a rewind or retry button. You get one shot at everything, so always put 100% into the relationships you choose to build. Dealing with separated parents taught me that if I ever decide I want a child, I want it to be with the man I know with every ounce of my being is the one I want to be with for the rest of my life. I don't want my child to have to leave their father at the end of a weekend, crying in the backseat of the car because they don't want to keep leaving like I used to. It got emotionally exhausting, and I was just a kid. I always wanted my mom and dad to get back together but logically I knew it would never happen again. Everything I have gone through has been for a reason, a learning experience.

I won't lie and say I haven't wondered what it would be like if things were different. There are a million scenarios in which I would have turned out completely different. I could have stayed in my hometown, grown up with an abusive step family but with friends I had known since kindergarten. I could have married my Junior year boyfriend. I could have moved into an apartment by myself after graduation. However, all of these points are useless because they didn't happen. Thinking about what could have been doesn't change the past and nothing will. I am still right here where I am, typing on my laptop in crappy town surrounded by people I dislike and that is what matters. Everything before this very moment is over, useless. The only purpose those things serve now, are the lessons I can learn from them. Obviously I am unhappy with my life and it is up to me to make sure that this comes to an end. I know what needs to be done and I need to find the motivation to make the proper changes in order to get myself to be the woman I want to be and achieve the things I want to achieve.

Dwelling on the past is toxic if you keep thinking about how things should be different. What matters is that you are where you are at this very moment and that you're moving forward. Step by step, day by day, you're moving forward. You can't change the past, but you do have control over your future and your day to day life. If things from your past make you unhappy, be sure to do whatever you can to make sure you never have to feel that way again. Because let's be blunt, nobody knows how long they have to live. There are estimations of course, but you could die tomorrow on your way to work. So instead of holding onto negativity and longing for a different outcome, wouldn't it be better to keep improving your quality of life in the time that you do have left?

/r/inspiration Thread