Bad decisions are the purview of the young. Oh, we older folk aren’t immune to them, but for the most part, making bad decisions belong to the era when our standards were lower and our bodies looked like this.
At the time we made them, we didn’t think they were bad decisions, right? We either thought a decision was the best one at the time (and maybe it was) or we didn’t think at all (which is more likely, because young people don’t always think before leaping into the great unknown.)
But is a decision that doesn’t work out always bad? Not always.
Oh, sure, a seriously bad decision would be to shoot heroin or leave your children unsupervised. Domestic violence is always a bad decision and of course, so is killing.
But some of the other decisions that don’t turn out so well–relationships, jobs, friends–as long as no one is hurt, does it really matter if things don’t work out?
As a young, romantic teenager I had no idea that I’d marry four times and twice to the same man. When I think about my own decisions about those relationships, I see how much each one taught me.
My first marriage to M. got me out from under my parents’ roof and to another state. It taught me about fun and independence. The price was I had to let it go, even though I thought it should have worked out.
My second marriage was clearly rebound, but he presented himself as a knight in white shining armor and helped me heal. I will always be grateful.
My third marriage was spiritual and paternal. Some 13 years older than I, he was my teacher in ways I only realized after the fact.
My surprise remarriage to M 27 years after our divorce has been such a miracle and blessing that I still marvel at it. We reconnected so easily and still had so much in common that we were able to pick right up where we left off, but in an improved version.
Most of my jobs began with high hopes and if, in the end, most of them disappointed me, it was usually years later and a signal that it was time to move on.
Friendships and family relationships have been beautiful to behold at times and other times, clearly a learning experience.
I embrace all the poor decisions I’ve made in my life as learning experiences. None of them have been ill-intentioned or damaging (unless you count hurt feelings).
If you’re young (or any age, really) and concerned about decisions you’ve made, just wait it out. You’ll learn from what’s happened and move on to something better. So embrace those bad decisions.
So, what have your bad decisions taught you?