I recently came across this quote again:
“Someone once told me the definition of Hell: The last day you have on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.”
This has got me thinking about the person I am becoming versus the person I could’ve been. One of the things that age has helped shed light on is that I always had all the tools to become the person I could have been.
In the past, I have been quick to blame the world for missed opportunities, tending to easily fall into the habit of blaming life and circumstance for not giving those opportunities. I didn’t get the job I really wanted because I didn’t happen to know anyone at the company. Me and my friends just fell out of touch as we got busy with other stuff. I didn’t go out with the person I had a crush on because I never had the opportunity to ask them out. I always struggled to make meaningful connections with people.
These days, I realise allot more of the blame belongs to me. It all started after I read a book that encouraged people to look at where they are to blame for there things, even if it is only 1% of the blame. This was an attempt to get people to focus on what they control and can change as opposed to what is outside their immediate control. Of course, once I started doing that, I realised that for me, it normally never is a small portion of the blame.
Even with the aforementioned examples, I can look back and see how my choices led up to these situations. I never tried to meet fellow professionals so that I had a professional network (eventhough I hate that world). I never put in extra effort to keep in touch with people as we got busy, instead losing myself in doing other things (I now realise that the 50/50 split in effort isn’t always equal). I never took a chance with someone I liked because I was too scared about what other people would say or even just ask them out for some quality alone time. I struggled to make meaningful connections because I compartmentalised my life allot and never let friendships develop beyond rigid activity constraints (and if you don’t meet people through mutual activities, you are just relying on random chance).
I hope that, going forward, I am doing better. I realise there is still a big void between who I am and who I could become. However, I am trying to take active steps to address the issues I have identified with myself and I am slowly getting better. I still see opportunities pass me by, but now I realise how much it is my fault and I do try to give myself a decent shot at being better.
At the end of the day, the definition of Heaven is probably realising that the person you became and the best person you could’ve become are one in the same.