“If only life was just a dress rehearsal and we had time for do-overs. We’d be able to practice and practice every moment until we got it right. Unfortunately, every day of our lives is its own performance. It seems like even when we get the chance to rehearse, to prepare, and practice… we’re still never quite ready for life’s grand moments.” –GREY’S ANATOMY, Meredith
I take it back. I wish I could rewind time and change the outcome of that situation. I’m sure everyone has thought this more than once in their life. I know I have. I have made a mess of a lot of things in my past because life isn’t a dress rehearsal. I thought about this “life is a dress rehearsal,” idea and I have two outcomes. The real outcome and the fantasy outcome, both of which are seemingly appealing; yet we can only chose between one.
The fantasy outcome: Life is a dress rehearsal. A director sits on the sidelines of life and yells, “Cut! Redo,” or “Stop. Breathe. Try that again.” There are many instances in my life when I wish I could have had a do-over—situations I could have handled much better; yet in the moment I lost my better judgment and screwed up.
I messed up a relationship with my best friend. She was also a family member. We could spend hours on the phone talking about absolutely anything and nothing. We got along. We were very close. After college, she said I could move in with her, and we were both thrilled. Living together, however, changed everything. We didn’t fit with each other’s lifestyles. I just sort of left in anger and hurt instead of staying to resolve the situation. I screwed up. I get that. I hurt her. She hurt me. It’s over. It’s done with. I cannot change it. When my phone rings, sometimes I hope it’s her—calling to say “let’s make up.” It has been almost two years, so I’m slowly losing hope that anything will fix what I did.
I’ve learned from this, believe me. I’ve cried over this. It is one of my biggest regrets to date—I’m kind of hoping I don’t have anymore, but life throws curve balls all the time.
The real outcome is life ISN’T a dress rehearsal. There isn’t time for do-overs, cuts, stops…it is raw and it is live. Even if I had the chance for life to be a dress rehearsal, I do not think I would choose that option. I like not knowing what is coming. Believe it or not, I like failing. I know it will make me stronger. Life is a moment of successions from failure and mistakes. P!nk wrote in a song, “I wouldn’t trade the pain for what I’ve learned.” I agree with this. However, painful life may be, however deep and real that mistake was—we move on. We learn. We put it in our back pocket and keep walking. I say “we” because so many of you reading probably just need to let go. Let go of that “thing” holding you back. Stop wishing life to be a dress rehearsal and just live for the magical moments it brings to us every day.