I've reached what some people would call a "milestone" in my life. 25 years have come and gone since the time I entered this world, and it hasn't been the same since! All I've got to say is that 25 seems surprisingly like 24 and 23. I dun got jipped!
Birthdays have never been a big deal for me. Don't get me wrong, I love to celebrate the birthdays of other people, giving them gifts, taking them to dinner, etc. It's great to help someone celebrate their special day. It's my own birthday I don't make much fuss about.
A good friend asked me a question that I've thought a lot about recently. She asked me, knowing what I know now, if I would go back 7 years to when I was 18 and make any different decisions. I thought for a moment, then came to decision.
I'll be the first to admit, I'm a very imperfect person. Of course, you could ask anyone who knows me and they'll say the same thing. More than a few would likely be willing to list off my faults, even without you asking. There are some decisions I regret, paths I have tread that are best left alone, and memories that are best left unremembered. However, all of these experiences have made me who I am today. I have learned some of my weaknesses and some of my strengths, and there are many more left to find.
Am I saying I'm stronger after making mistakes and making corrections? No, absolutely not. I believe many of us make bad decisions, even when part of us knows we probably should go with a different option. A person who touches a hot stove top simply to prove to him or herself it is hot is not stronger than the person who chooses not to touch the stove top in the first place.
I am saying that some of the lessons I've learned were learned the hard way. I've learned about myself, how I react to certain situations, what I can do alone and what I may need help with. As stated previously, my weaknesses and strengths.
Now some people say it would be best to go back and make all of those decisions again, choosing the better way. All I can say is that I feel it would be a slap in the face to my agency. I used my agency and made a decision. By going back and changing that decision I would, I believe, be forcing myself to choose a certain way.
God does not make our decisions for us. He will guide us and help us to see the better choice, but He will not make the decision for us and force us down any path. We are allowed to make mistakes, just like we are allowed to have our little victories. He knows this, and has provided the Atonement to help us come back from those mistakes. My decisions have allowed me to come to know my Savior, the Atonement, and come closer to my Heavenly Father
No, I would not go back and change my decisions. I will use what I know to make better decisions in the future. I'm not perfect, I will make mistakes in the future, but that's the beauty of life. We can choose what path we'll take.
It's been a great quarter century. Let's see if I can get through another two or three.