Yesterday my 17-year-old daughter had a morning dentist appointment, got home at 10:30, and “since it’s a block day and I’m not really missing much” felt there was no need to go back. We had a fun talk (I’m trying to be nice here. It wasn’t really fun.) It was her telling me all the logical reasons why she shouldn’t go back, and me telling her all the reasons why she should. Finally after a fifteen minute conversation, I finally got so frustrated I said, “Go talk to your dad!” She came back out and told me that she hates when I make her talk to him because he tells her to make her own decision.
And I was like, “Well, that means you make the decision, but you live with the consequences. For example, this spring when you want to skip with your friends and go shopping, I might have to say no. If you want to travel with your brother to California for a race, you may not get to go if you’ve missed too much school.”
I got to thinking about my decisions in life. I’ve decided some of my worst decisions were also the most memorable. As a young adult, I was probably the queen of bad decisions. Boys I shouldn’t have dated, things I shouldn’t have done, drinks I shouldn’t have drank, and classes I shouldn’t have skipped.
I’ve decided that making good/bad decisions is subjective. Sometimes making a bad decision or traveling the wrong path is how we learn. It’s what makes up the stories of our lives. It’s how we learn. I’m pretty sure, I’ve never told a story about how much fun I had in a certain class. (Unless, they happened to involve a really cute boy.) The stories we tell are the ones where we did something a little sneaky. When we colored outside the lines. When we broke a few rules.
So I got to thinking about some of the bad decisions I made that I’ll never regret.
The Halloween party that I let a guy drive me home from. I knew who he was, had mutual friends, but we had never really met. He was adorable, back from college, and when he shook my hand, he didn’t let go. Which actually made such an impression on me, I used it in my book.
The date I didn’t cancel with a guy in one of my classes because I had just met THE GUY OF MY DREAMS! Seriously. He was super cute, tall, buff, a football player, and super sweet. I felt a little sleazy dating them both, especially when I clearly KNEW football boy was special. Was I wrong. I ended up marrying the boy from that date. So glad I took the slightly sleazy road.
The time my friends and I drove over Spook Hill way too fast.
The time we went parking at the duck pond and got caught by the cops.
The times I broke up with my high school boyfriend, even though my friends thought I was crazy, to go out with my high school trifecta. Hot guy, hot bod, hot car. He was older, dreamy, and a total jerk who broke my heart, but it was so worth every minute, every tear.
The time I took a group of my daughter’s friends out TPing a friend’s house at 2am. Their hilarious giggling made it so worth it. Even better was when I took my son and his friends out just this past summer. They wore full camouflage, were piled in the backseat, and just after we had parked and turned our lights off, a cop drove by. They hadn’t even gotten out the of car but were so funny. I swear, I would have paid that cop to drive by again just to give them that heart pounding thrill of we almost got caught.
All the Weaving labs I skipped to go Friday Afternoon Club with the Pikes. I’ll forever have the stigma of saying I got a D in Weaving. Still. What fun.
Life is about decisions. But they are YOUR decisions. Sometimes they are good ones that you’d never want to change, other times they are bad and you live with the consequences. But they are all part of living. The memories that make up your life.
What about you? What bad decisions have you made that you are glad that you did? (Oh, and in case you’re wondering. She chose not to go back to school. Big surprise, huh?)
Read about some of Jadyn’s bad decisions in my book, That Boy. A contemporary romance about falling in love with the boys next door. And coming this January, the sequel, That Wedding!