I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how hard it was for me to make peace with being forced to sacrifice my childhood in the name of self-preservation. I missed out on the beautiful parts of being a kid, and that’s a heavy lift no matter how good my life is today.

What I wish I’d known back then was that I wasn’t worthless, unworthy, or unlovable. I wish I could tell a younger me that he didn’t deserve what he went through. I wish I’d known that I was going to live a huge life, full of so much beauty and heartache and wonder. There is no time machine that makes it possible to go back and change the past, and what I have grown to realize is that I wouldn’t change it if I could. The past is gone and it only has the power over my present that I relinquish to it. If I choose to live in or dwell on the past, I run the risk of giving in to regret.

I can’t change what’s already happened, and neither can you. Your missteps, failed relationships, even the things you might have done out of self-preservation aren’t things to regret because they are all threads in the tapestry that make you who you are – a beautiful, flawed survivor who deserves happiness, love, and fulfillment. It’s high time that you own that shit.

And never forget that I love you.


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About Sentimental Dom

Michael Nolan is The Sentimental Dom. He wants you to keep your chin up, treat everyone with dignity, compassion, and respect, and drink more water.

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